Denver City Council President Albus Brooks will soon undergo surgery to treat chondrosarcoma, a rare form of cancer that previously was in remission for him, he said.
“I have cancer. I’m going to be gone for two weeks,” Brooks said on Tuesday. He’ll take a leave of absence following a surgery at CU Anschutz early in May, he said.
Brooks was diagnosed in 2016 and underwent surgery nearly two years ago for the removal of a larger but similar tumor. Surgery is a successful treatment for many sarcoma patients, according to medical resources. Chondrosarcoma is a form of sarcoma, which occurs in bones and connective tissue.
Brooks was cancer-free for more than a year, he said in a statement, but doctors found a small tumor during a checkup this month. This tumor is the size of a grape, while the previous tumor was the size of a cantaloupe, he said.
This time, Brooks’ doctors have told him it “may be a better recovery,” he said. “But it’s, again, a major surgery to remove a smaller tumor.”
The councilman is in his second term representing northeast Denver’s District 9, where the campaigns for next year’s municipal elections are already underway, along with numerous intensive development projects.
“It’s the worst timing. There’s so much going on in the city. It’s a really hard time,” said Brooks, a father of three.
In a separate written statement, he asked for the people of Denver to keep him in their prayers.
“But not just me,” he added. “There are people in our community that are going through the same thing, but don’t have a public position or fancy title. Because of this, they are often more alone. Don’t forget about them.”
This was Brooks’ statement in full:
“Nearly two years ago I was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma, a rare form of skeletal cancer. One year later my family and I celebrated a full year being cancer free.
Today, I write to share some difficult news.
During a recent check up this month, doctors found another small tumor. In 2016 the tumor in my body was the size of a cantaloupe; this one is the size of a grape. My surgery to remove the tumor is scheduled for the first week of May, after which I will be recovering for two weeks at home.
I share this news with you the same week that I will be a guest speaker at CancerCon, a conference uniting young adult patients, survivors, caregivers and advocates. While this recent update certainly changes a few of the details in my life, it definitely does not change my message of hope and resilience.
My story is not defined by cancer, yet cancer has shown me the powerful beauty of human capacity.
Like the capacity of individual grit when forced to fight for your life. Cancer does not discriminate, and I’ve met countless people who have had to engage this same capacity for resilience in their own fight. My strength comes from those that have suffered and survived, as well as those who have lost their lives.
More than anything else, I have witnessed the capacity my family has to love fully. Their capacity to bring me joy and peace knows no limits, and it is with them that I will find my greatest encouragement in coming months.
It is in that spirit that I ask for Denver to keep me in your prayers.
But not just me – there are people in our community that are going through the same thing, but don’t have a public position or fancy title. Because of this, they are often more alone. Don’t forget about them.