Civil rights leader and Georgia Congressman John Lewis has revealed that he is currently battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Officially announcing the diagnosis on Sunday, Lewis revealed that the cancer was discovered during a routine medical visit.

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

“I have been in some kind of fight – for freedom, equality, basic human rights – for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now," penned the 79-year-old politician in a statement. "[...] "While I am clear-eyed about the prognosis, doctors have told me that recent medical advances have made this type of cancer treatable in many cases, that treatment options are no longer as debilitating as they once were, and that I have a fighting chance. So I have decided to do what I know to do and do what I have always done: I am going to fight it and keep fighting for the Beloved Community. We still have many bridges to cross."

In the remainder of his statement, Lewis assured his voters that he plans to continue to serve in the House, though he may "miss a few votes during this period."

The likes of Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Ava DuVernay have all voiced their support for Lewis, who has served in the House of Representatives since the late 1980s.