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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Idaho Rep. Russ Fulcher announces cancer diagnosis

U.S. Rep. Russ Fulcher is seen in his Washington, D.C. office in this January 2020 photo. Fulcher announced Friday that his treatment for renal cancer had been successful.   (TYLER TJOMSLAND/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

WASHINGTON – Rep. Russ Fulcher announced Thursday he has been diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer.

In a post shared on Facebook Thursday evening, the Republican who represents North Idaho said he recently learned the cancer is in part of his renal system – which includes the kidneys and the rest of the urinary tract – and he expects to make “a full recovery.”

“No one likes to hear the ‘C’ word, especially when having a discussion with their physician,” Fulcher wrote, “but as many of you have previously experienced … sometimes it happens.”

Fulcher thanked his “friends and neighbors” for their prayers and understanding, and assured them the diagnosis would not stop him from serving the district he has represented since he was first elected to succeed former Rep. Raul Labrador, who ran unsuccessfully for governor. Before that, Fulcher served in the Idaho State Senate from 2005 to 2014, where the Meridian native represented his hometown and parts of Boise and Kuna.

“As a Christian, I believe things happen for a reason,” he said. “This is a time for me to learn and grow from what many of you already have personal appreciation for.

“By the time it’s over I will be better educated, have more compassion for those with similar experiences, have increased appreciation for our health care system and be a better person!”

The other members of Idaho’s all-GOP congressional delegation wished Fulcher well in statements on Friday.

“I will pray for my friend Russ and his family on this journey to a full and complete recovery,” Sen. Mike Crapo said. “He’s a strong and resilient fighter and I know his faith and determination will prevail.”

“Idaho’s First Congressional District is fortunate to have Russ as its representative in Washington, D.C.,” said Sen. Jim Risch. “He’s a fighter, and I know he’ll bring that fighting spirit into this challenge. Vicki and my prayers are with Russ and his family as he begins treatment. We’re optimistic for a full and swift recovery.”

“Russ is a dear friend and as he begins this new fight I know he’ll do so with the same determination that he fights for Idahoans everyday in our nation’s capital,” Rep. Mike Simpson, who represents eastern Idaho and most of Boise, wrote on Facebook. “I’d ask that you join Kathy and I as we pray for his health and give him and his family the privacy they deserve because Idaho needs Russ.”

In 2017, a group of lawmakers formed the Cancer Survivors Caucus, now led by Reps. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Calif., and Earl “Buddy” Carter, R-Ga.