The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland announces cancer diagnosis

Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.) on Capitol Hill. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)
3 min

Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.) announced Wednesday that he has cancer but said the condition is curable and he expects to work during treatment.

The congressman, who led the second impeachment trial of President Donald Trump and is a member of the House select committee that investigated the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, disclosed the diagnosis in a news release.

“After several days of tests, I have been diagnosed with Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma, which is a serious but curable form of cancer,” he said. “Prognosis for most people in my situation is excellent after four months of treatment.”

Raskin, who has represented Maryland’s 8th District since 2017, said he is about to begin a course of chemo-immunotherapy as an outpatient at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in the District.

“I am advised that it also causes hair loss and weight gain (although I am still holding out hope for the kind that causes hair gain and weight loss),” his news release said.

He said he would continue to work during treatment but has been cautioned by doctors to reduce unnecessary exposure to the coronavirus, flu and other viruses.

Raskin, 60, added that with “the benefit of early detection,” as well as his family, staff and friends, he plans to “to get through this and, in the meantime, to keep making progress every day in Congress for American democracy.”

“My love and solidarity go out to other families managing cancer or any other health condition in this holiday season,” he said, “ — and all the doctors, nurses and medical personnel who provide us comfort and hope.”

This is not Raskin’s first battle with cancer. In 2010, he underwent radiation and chemotherapy as he fought Stage 3 colon cancer.

In 2021, he underwent an MRI exam to identify a growth on his stomach that turned out to be a benign cyst, he told The Washington Post for a profile a year ago.

Raskin, who won reelection last month with more than 80 percent of the vote, this month was elected ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee. He was thrust into the national spotlight last year after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tapped him to lead the Trump impeachment trial.

The Capitol riot came just days after Raskin’s 25-year-old son, Thomas Bloom Raskin, a student at Harvard Law School, died by suicide. Raskin accepted the high-profile assignment to make the case for impeachment, saying he channeled his love for his son into defending a vulnerable democracy.

Raskin has long had a loyal following in Maryland, and many politicos and constituents expressed encouragement to the lawmaker after his cancer announcement.

“As our nation has seen over the past six years, Jamie Raskin is a fighter,” Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich (D), recently endorsed by Raskin, said in a statement. “And now as he prepares to fight cancer once again, we send him and his family the love, the support and the hope that they have always given to us.”

Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) on Twitter also called Raskin a “fighter,” adding: “Jamie, we are with you every step of the way.”

Maryland Gov.-elect Wes Moore (D) tweeted that Raskin “embodies what it means to persevere in the face of overwhelming challenges.”

“My friend, we are praying for you and we know you will overcome this challenge as you have the rest,” Moore said.

Maryland’s outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who had his own battle with lymphoma, also voiced support. “We are relieved to hear that he and his doctors are optimistic about his prognosis,” Hogan tweeted.