At the start of my administration, I had no doubt I would face big challenges in my first few months as governor—but never did I imagine cancer would be one of them. In June 2015, just five months into office, I was diagnosed with stage III non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Over the next five months, I underwent 30 days of aggressive, 24-hour chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, spinal taps, and countless scans, drug therapies, and other procedures. On November 16, 2015, after completing a PET scan at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, I was blessed to announce that I am 100% cancer-free and in complete remission.
The kindness of fellow Marylanders and well-wishers from around the world throughout my treatments has kept me strong and my spirits high, and is undoubtedly one of the reasons why I am cancer-free today. Having a support system while undergoing cancer treatment is necessary, and I am eternally grateful.
Since waging my own fight, I have taken on a new calling—to raise resources and awareness for all those battling cancer, and to do whatever it takes to find a cure for this terrible disease. I humbly ask that those who continue to support me also remember the thousands of others facing seemingly insurmountable odds. Do what you can, whether it’s volunteering your time to help sick patients, making a donation to a cancer-fighting charity, preparing meals for a family in need, or simply saying a prayer. When it comes to cancer, no act of kindness is too small!
During this time I had the incredible honor to meet His Holiness Pope Francis during his visit to Washington and receive his blessings on behalf of all cancer patients.
The Pope's words continue to inspire me: "Service is never ideological, for we do not serve ideas, we serve people."