On Thursday, former Senator Bob Dole (R-Kansas) announced that he has begun treatment for stage 4 lung cancer, and in a rare sign of unity in our seriously divided nation there was an outpouring of support from Republicans and Democrats on social media – and gladly hardly a negative word to be said for the war hero.
News of Dole’s diagnosis comes just a day after conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh passed away from a year-long battle with stage 4 lung cancer. It is the most advanced stage of the disease and the least likely to end up in remission. As cancer cells have metastasized and spread to distant areas of the body, stage 4 is considered terminal, but significant advances in treatments have greatly improved survival rates.
The former senate majority leader, who is 97-years old, was the 1996 Republican Party presidential nominee. He made the announcement that he will begin treatment via social media from his @SenatorDole account.
The Kansas Secretary of State (@KansasSOS) issued a heartfelt statement and well wishes to Sen. Dole, “We send prayers and love to Senator Bob Dole as he begins his battle with lung cancer. Senator Dole is an American hero and statesman, and we wish him, and his family, strength for the days ahead.”
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Governor Laura Kelly (@GovLauraKelly) (D-Kansas) was among those who looked past party affiliations and simply called Mr. Dole her “friend” posting, “Wishing my friend Senator Bob Dole a swift recovery.”
Former House Majority Whip Tony Coelho (D-Calif.) also added, “Former US Senator Bob Dole is a great leader for our community and one of my most personal friends – my prayers are with him.”
It wasn’t just those in American politics to wish Sen. Dole the best. Ambassador of the Republic of Albania Floreta Faber (@FloretaFaber) posted, “We are praying today for Senator Bob Dole, a great friend of Albania, Kosovo and all Albanians around the world”
Many who covered politics were in Dole’s corner on social media. CNN White House Correspondent John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) kept it simple, “rooting for you, senator”
USA Today Washington Bureau chief Susan Page (@SusanPage) called out Dole’s career in the military, “Bob Dole, 97, announces he is beginning treatment Monday for stage-four lung cancer. He acknowledges ‘some hurdles ahead,’ but of course he’s been facing those since he was a 2nd lieutenant in World War II. Sending good thoughts.”
Consumer advocate Erin Brockovich (@ErinBrockovich) was among those who could look past political differences, “Very sorry to hear this. As a Kansas girl and an American I haven’t always agreed with Bob Dole but he is a man of honor and sacrifice. I wish the best for him and his family.”
Comedian Jon Stewart (@jonstewart) posted, “Sending big love to my friend Bob Dole…still mad he was funnier than me on my show!!”
SkyNews political correspondent Joe Pike (@joepike) shared his thoughts, posting, “So sad to read this. Bob Dole’s life story is jaw-dropping and inspiring.”
New York Times bestselling author Chris DeRose (@chrisderose) took a moment to address the ageism that was present in Dole’s 1996 presidential run, tweeting, “The press spent 1996 asking whether Bob Dole would die in office because he was 73.”
Sadly a few individuals had to continue to bring out the worst in social media including the fittingly named @Jackasswisperer, who felt the need to add, “Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh went to Hell. Today, Bob Dole went to stay with him.”