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Stroger's cancer diagnosed earlier

Friday, July 06, 2007
The Courier News
by Deanna Bellandi Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Cook County Board President Todd Stroger said Thursday that his prostate cancer was diagnosed months earlier than his administration has previously disclosed.

Stroger said he was diagnosed in April or May 2006, before he was named to the ballot to replace his ailing father. Stroger said he didn't tell Democratic Party leaders about his condition.

Stroger was elected in November to replace his father John Stroger, who retired after a massive stroke. The family was criticized then for keeping secret details of the elder Stroger's condition during intense political jockeying over the powerful county chief executive's job.

The younger Stroger didn't announce he had cancer until June 19, the day after he underwent successful surgery to remove his prostate. At the time, his spokeswoman said he had been diagnosed about 10 months ago.

Stroger, 44, blamed the discrepancies on his communications team not funneling information through him. He said he was working to fix the situation so the department sends "everything about me through me first so they have the facts straight."

"I've never told you anything that wasn't true," Stroger told reporters in a conference call because he has not yet resumed working in his office at the county building.

Stroger said he kept quiet about his cancer to shield his mother, who was dealing with his father's illness, and because he felt the disease would not affect his ability to serve in office



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