U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin recently completed his final round of treatment for cancer, and offered gratitude to well-wishers from across the country and his care team at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.
In an open letter published Thursday, Raskin said that he has a “preliminary diagnosis” of being in remission from the diffuse large B-cell lymphoma that his office previously described as “a serious but curable form of cancer.” He said he has a 90% prognosis of no relapse.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love,” the Democrat wrote, noting that people from Maryland and across the country have reached out with messages of concern, solidarity and prayer. He also received gifts including various head coverings, homemade meals, paintings and poems.
With his energy sapped from the final round of chemotherapy, Raskin wrote, “I am afraid I lack the energy to properly thank you all and express the enormity of my feelings and about the enduring beauty and promise of our country.”
Raskin, 60, has represented the 8th District in Congress since 2017, which currently encompasses most of Montgomery County and part of Prince George’s County. He previously was a state senator and a professor of constitutional law at American University.
Last year, Raskin published a memoir, “Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy.” It reflected on the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol — Raskin helped draft articles of impeachment against then-President Donald Trump for his alleged role in encouraging violent protesters — and on the death of his 25-year-old son Tommy, who killed himself.
“I wrote ‘Unthinkable’ as a way to make sense of two traumatic events in my life,” Raskin said in a statement about the book. “This book is a labor of love written to capture the dazzling life of a brilliant young man in crisis, who we lost forever, and the struggle to defend a beautiful nation in crisis, a democracy that we still have the chance to save.”
During treatment, Raskin took to sporting bandanas as he lost his hair. His bandana-wearing inspiration? Musician Steven Van Zandt, who heard about Raskin and sent the congressman some bandanas.
The two later met and posed for pictures together, with Van Zandt, the longtime sideman to Bruce Springsteen in the E Street Band, calling Raskin “my brother from another mother!”
With his course of treatment complete, Raskin took part in a ceremonial bell-ringing at Georgetown this week, which he posted on Twitter and Instagram.
“It’s kind of melancholy,” Raskin said, looking at the bell. “But it’s a happy moment.”
As he rang the bell, Raskin broke into a broad grin. He tapped his chest in a gesture of gratitude as the assembled staff and supporters cheered and applauded.
Raskin noted on his post: “A new chapter begins.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.