Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl announced today he is being treated for a cancer diagnosis.
The Eleventh District councilman had been missing council meetings due to what his office said was a back injury that followed months of nagging pain. In a letter to his constituents, Rosendahl revealed that the back pain turned out to be cancer.
“The cancer is in my pelvic area and is pinching some of my nerves, causing a lot of pain and discomfort, which has kept me away from City Hall for the past week," Rosendahl wrote in his letter. "The doctors are confident they can get the pain under control so I can return to work while I undergo treatment.”
The cancer is described as slow-moving, and has not spread to any vital organs. Rosendahl began medical treatments today.
“I am going to beat this cancer and return to work soon,” he said.
Earlier this week, Rosendahl revealed to the Los Angeles Times that he uses medical marijuana to manage pain caused by neuropathy, which is a nerve disorder.
Following the news of the cancer diagnosis, Council President Herb Wesson released a statement calling Rosendahl “a fighter.”
“I know that I speak for my colleagues when I say that he will not be fighting this personal health battle alone,” Wesson said. “Bill is someone we love and will stand with him, and we will do everything we can to assist him and his staff in serving his constituents while he is absent from the city council. We look forward to celebrating his recovery."
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he was truly saddened to hear of Rosendahl’s illness.
“I am encouraged that he has already started treatment, and I look forward to him returning to work very soon. When I spoke to Bill a short while ago, he was determined and upbeat, and he assured me in a booming voice: 'I am going to beat this',” Villaraigosa said in a statement.
The councilman was elected to his Westside district in 2005. Rosendahl said he will move forward with plans for reelection in 2013. According to the Ethics Commission, he has already raised $135,000 for the race.
This post has been updated.