Family by Side, Maryland Governor Announces Cancer Diagnosis


by SUEVON LEE | @suevlee

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, whose upset victory last November ushered in a new era of Republican leadership of a Democratic stronghold while introducing a new first lady of the state—the Korean-born Yumi Hogan—announced Monday that he has an advanced form of cancer of the lymph nodes, according to media reports.

Surrounded by wife Yumi, their adult daughters Jaymi Kim Sterling and Kim Velez, and granddaughter Daniella Velez, the 59-year-old governor announced in a news conference at the state capital Monday that he has been diagnosed with late stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and will soon begin an 18-week chemotherapy regimen, according to the Washington Post.

Hogan, who said he has no intention to step down from office and will rely upon Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford to fill in for him on state business when necessary, discovered a lump on his neck while shaving during a recent trade mission to Asia, according to the Post. After returning from the two-week trip, which took him to Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo, the governor canceled a number of events, according to CNN.

Media outlets have noted that treatment for the governor’s form of cancer is “fatiguing and time-consuming” based on other patients’ accounts but that about 70 percent of patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are still alive five years after diagnosis.

“There’s a very strong chance of success,” the Post quoted Hogan as saying Monday. “Not only a strong chance of survival, but a strong chance of beating it altogether.”

The paper noted that “in classic Hogan style, the governor tried to lighten the mood on Monday, even as members of the Cabinet and his relatives sometimes fought tears.”

The governor’s 11-year marriage to wife Yumi, an artist and art professor, was a notable sidebar to his surprise election, as KoreAm wrote about in the February/March 2015 print issue. Considered the governor’s rock of support, Yumi helped campaign for her husband, has introduced aspects of Korean American culture into the governor’s mansion and, in the wake of the riots that ravaged West Baltimore in late April following the death of Freddie Gray, facilitated conversations between Korean small business owners devastated by the looting and state officials who pledged their support.

Yumi Hogan has three adult daughters from a previous marriage, who are close to the governor and call him their father.

The Capital Gazette has rounded up reactions from local, state and national officials following the governor’s announcement.


Featured image via Capital Gazette/Video (Screengrab)

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