How Governor Larry Hogan Leaned on Family After a Cancer Diagnosis

August 13, 2020
Jessica Skarzynski
Jessica Skarzynski

After a cancer diagnosis, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan had to lean on family from both his personal and professional life to helping take on treatment and beat cancer twice.

After taking office as the Governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan began to experience some aches and pains that he chalked up to a whirlwind year of campaigning and travel. But when a handful of doctor’s visits led him to a series of CAT scans, he was devastated to hear the diagnosis: advanced, aggressive cancer.

In an interview with CURE®, Hogan recently opened up about how he relied on the help of his family, both his personal and professional one, to take on treatment and eventually overcome the disease not once, but twice.

Transcription:

I had just been elected governor of Maryland and just was sworn in. I'd only been governor for five months and I was on our first trade mission to Korea, China and Japan. We had been really busy going through a year-long campaign, our first legislative session, had been working day and night. I had no idea I was really sick, but I started to have some aches and pains, and on this trip, I started to feel a little run down, but I thought it was I was okay. But I noticed a lump in my throat, and I said I better check this out.

And so I went to the doctor as soon as we got back, and the first primary care physician sent me to another doctor, who sent me to another doctor, and I ended up having three doctors after doing a bunch of CAT scans walk into the room together, which I said, this can't be a good sign when three doctors that you don't know walk into the room. And they said we have some bad news to share with you, governor: you have very advanced and aggressive cancer. We found about 50-some tumors from your neck to your groin, and we're going to have to set you up with a specialist oncologist right away.

I was, frankly, stunned that my first doctor said I didn't think it was anything to worry about. You know, it's probably just a benign cyst of some kind, fluid and my lymph node and my neck. And but then I heard this shocking news and it set off a whole series of things.

This was Father's Day weekend, the Friday of Father's Day weekend, and my very first thought was not really about being afraid of what was going to happen to me. But I think it's probably what so many other cancer patients go through, and my first thought was about my family, you know. How am I going to tell my wife? My three daughters were coming to visit for Father's Day weekend, I was going to break that news to them. And then my dad who was coming over for Father's Day weekend, and it doesn't matter how old you get, I was still his little boy. And he took it almost tougher than anybody, but it was a group hug, a little tears, and I thought everybody was going to be okay.

And then, I had to then break the news to my staff who worked so hard and just was getting started on our administration, and break it to the six million people of Maryland, who had just put their faith and trust in me to help run the state. I was trying to be as open and honest and transparent as I could possibly be with all the people of the state, and they kind of went through and shared the whole cancer battle with me.


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