ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Governor Larry Hogan opens up about his own battle with cancer, while signing an executive order Thursday to combat the disease across the state.
Flanked by the doctors who saved his life, Governor Larry Hogan announced an initiative to save more lives from cancer, which is Maryland’s second largest killer, claiming more than 10,000 lives each year.
He told WJZ’s Mike Hellgren that for him, it’s personal.
“Having the personal experience myself has opened up my eyes to what other people go through,” the governor said.
It’s been an emotional journey for Hogan, after he stunned many with his diagnosis in June of last year.
The governor went through months of chemotherapy. Today, he says he’s feeling great.
“I had a proposed plan to do one year of maintenance chemotherapy. Once a month, I go in and get a little booster just to make sure it doesn’t recur,” Gov. Hogan said.
The governor signed an executive order that renews a state council that puts out a road map for fighting cancer. The state has tried to address disparities in treatment of minorities and women.
Dr. Kevin Cullen, who directs the University of Maryland’s Greenebaum Cancer Center, spoke about lives saved among un-insured and under-insured women in Baltimore City.
“In the last ten years, we’ve screened more than 12,000 women and diagnosed more than 200 cancers with a survival rate in excess of 90 percent,” said Dr. Cullen.
Maryland’s is among several initiatives nationwide, including the White House’s “Moonshot,” which aims to speed up progress to wipe out cancer.
“Days matter, minutes matter,” Vice President Joe Biden said.
For Governor Hogan, it’s a full circle moment–a survivor, who understands the fight.
“I just had a PET scan done a few weeks ago, I’m completely cancer-free,” said Hogan. “I have one more treatment, and then I’ll be hopefully done with it forever.”
The governor was battling Stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The most commonly diagnosed cancers in Maryland are prostate, breast, lung and colon.