The news that U.S. Senator John McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer triggered many people to express their support on social media Wednesday, from celebrities to fellow politicians.
McCain took to Twitter on Thursday to express his thanks for the outpouring support he has received.
“I greatly appreciate the outpouring of support – unfortunately for my sparring partners in Congress, I’ll be back soon, so stand-by!,” he tweeted.
I greatly appreciate the outpouring of support – unfortunately for my sparring partners in Congress, I'll be back soon, so stand-by!
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) July 20, 2017
McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, and his wife, Cindy McCain, both took to social media to post moving statements.
Cindy took to Instagram to post a photo of the couple on their wedding day. She added, “Thank all of you for the wonderful thoughts. @senjohnmccain is doing well. We as a family will face the next hurdle together. One thing I do know is he is the toughest person I know. He is my hero and I love him with all my heart.”
Meghan wrote that her father is “the toughest person I know. The cruellest enemy could not break him. The aggressions of political life could not bend him. So he is meeting this challenge as he has every other. Cancer may afflict him in many ways: But it will not make him surrender.”
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) July 20, 2017
Former U.S. president Barack Obama called McCain “an American hero” and wrote, “Cancer doesn’t know what it’s up against. Give it hell, John.”
John McCain is an American hero & one of the bravest fighters I've ever known. Cancer doesn't know what it's up against. Give it hell, John.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 20, 2017
Hillary Clinton tweeted, “John McCain is as tough as they come. Thinking of John, Cindy, their wonderful children, & their whole family tonight.”
John McCain is as tough as they come. Thinking of John, Cindy, their wonderful children, & their whole family tonight.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 20, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, “Melania and I send our thoughts and prayers to Senator McCain, Cindy, and their entire family. Get well soon.”
Melania and I send our thoughts and prayers to Senator McCain, Cindy, and their entire family. Get well soon. https://t.co/fONWVlmYyz
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2017
— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) July 20, 2017
U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence tweeted, “Karen & I are praying for @SenJohnMcCain. Cancer picked on the wrong guy. John McCain is a fighter & he’ll win this fight too.”
Karen & I are praying for @SenJohnMcCain. Cancer picked on the wrong guy. John McCain is a fighter & he'll win this fight too. God bless!
— Vice President Pence (@VP) July 20, 2017
Kellyanne Conway tweeted, “Thoughts and prayers with Senator John McCain, Mrs. McCain and family.”
Thoughts and prayers with Senator John McCain, Mrs. McCain and family.
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) July 20, 2017
Former U.S. vice-president Joe Biden wrote, “John and I have been friends for 40 years. He’s gotten through so much difficulty with so much grace. He is strong — and he will beat this.”
John and I have been friends for 40 years. He's gotten through so much difficulty with so much grace. He is strong – and he will beat this.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 20, 2017
Former U.S. president Bill Clinton tweeted, “As he’s shown his entire life, don’t bet against John McCain. Best wishes to him for a swift recovery.”
As he’s shown his entire life, don’t bet against John McCain. Best wishes to him for a swift recovery.
— Bill Clinton (@billclinton) July 20, 2017
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) July 20, 2017
Former U.S. president George H.W. Bush released a statement that read, “The Hanoi Hilton couldn’t break John McCain’s spirit many years ago, so Barbara and I know — with confidence — he and his family will meet this latest battle in his singular life of service with courage and determination.”
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) July 20, 2017
Sen. Tim Kaine tweeted, “Thinking about a hero, my Chairman, my friend John McCain. Stay strong!”
Thinking about a hero, my Chairman, my friend John McCain. Stay strong!
— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) July 20, 2017
McCain’s 2008 running mate and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, shared a photo on Facebook of the pair at a campaign event, adding “he’ll face this diagnosis with courage and strength.”
John McCain is one tough fighter – we know he'll face this diagnosis with courage and strength. Our family… https://t.co/XXTUltNGey
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) July 20, 2017
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) July 20, 2017
My Thoughts & Prayers are with @SenJohnMcCain a true American hero and a fighter .
— Antonio Sabáto Jr (@antoniosabatojr) July 20, 2017
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) July 20, 2017
— ROSIE (@Rosie) July 20, 2017
Amen. Sending strength and prayers your way John. https://t.co/F6mIehIeIc
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) July 20, 2017
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) July 20, 2017
Sending a lot of love to the McCain family. This is a beautiful statement https://t.co/iIOPSQ7N1g
— Andy Cohen (@Andy) July 20, 2017
Not a fan of John McCain's politics; huge fan of his integrity, bravery, and sense of humor. Get better, Senator. Get better.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) July 20, 2017
Good to cheer on John McCain to "fight" cancer but please keep in mind that illness is not a sport & to be overcome is not to "lose."
— Joyce Carol Oates (@JoyceCarolOates) July 20, 2017
I send good thoughts, strength, light and blessings to @SenJohnMcCain and his family. A true American hero and patriot.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) July 20, 2017
Thinking of John McCain and his family tonight and wishing them strength, courage, prayers and the best of luck. @SenJohnMcCain ❤️
— Nancy Sinatra (@NancySinatra) July 20, 2017
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) July 20, 2017
Praying for my friend and shipmate @SenJohnMcCain and his family.
— Montel Williams (@Montel_Williams) July 20, 2017
— Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) July 20, 2017
Thinking of Senator McCain and his family during this difficult time. #theultimatefighter
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) July 20, 2017
“On Friday, July 14, Sen. John McCain underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot from above his left eye at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Pheonix,” the statement read.
“Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumour known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot.”
McCain’s brain tumour is the same kind of cancer Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie has been diagnosed with.
Experts say Downie, 53, is battling an incurable cancer that’s also among the most common and most aggressive brain tumours.
Downie’s cancer is a primary brain tumour, meaning it started from within the brain itself and didn’t spread from another part of the body.
Downie underwent surgery to remove a “bulk” of his tumour on the left temporal lobe of the brain. He took on radiation treatment for six weeks paired with chemotherapy.
Other celebrities have encountered glioblastoma, Perry noted, including Joe Biden’s son and Ted Kennedy.
What makes glioblastoma incurable is that it’s “rapidly growing,” according to Dr. Sunit Das, a surgical neurologist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. He hasn’t treated Downie but works with glioblastoma patients regularly.
Unlike lung cancer which is tied to smoking or colon cancer which has links to eating too much processed meat, for example, it’s unclear what triggers glioblastoma.
Two to three people per 100,000 encounter the disease in Canada, the United States and Europe. It’s more common in older individuals and in men more than women.
Common symptoms include headache, weakness, nausea, seizures, memory difficulties, personality changes and vomiting.
—With files from Carmen Chai and Rebecca Joseph