Akaka offers support for Kennedy family
Calling him a dear friend and "one of the greatest statesmen" to ever serve, Sen. Daniel Akaka said he was deeply saddened by news that his colleague, Sen. Ted Kennedy, has a cancerous brain tumor.
Akaka, in a statement released by his office, said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid broke the news to fellow senators yesterday during their caucus luncheon.
"We shared a moment of reflection as we took in the news," Akaka said, calling the longtime Massachusetts Democrat an "icon and fighter."
"I know he will bring the same strength and resolve to this fight that he has brought to so many battles for justice and equality in the Senate," Akaka added.
Sen. Dan Inouye, the third-most senior member of the Senate behind Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Kennedy, was not available for comment yesterday.
Kennedy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor yesterday, days after being a hospitalized after suffering a seizure.
Kennedy's doctors said he will remain in the hospital for the next couple of days as they consider chemotherapy and radiation. They did not mention surgery, a possible indication the tumor is inoperable.
"My prayers and thoughts are with Ted, his wife Vicki, and the rest of the Kennedy family," Akaka said.