Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who is fighting cancer, says he’s drawing strength from the “incredible honor” of meeting Pope Francis on Thursday.
The governor, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in June, said he received blessings from the pope on behalf of all cancer patients. They met at Catholic Charities in Washington, where Francis appeared after his address to Congress.
The pope took Hogan’s hand, gave him the sign of the cross, and gave him and his wife rosaries, the governor’s office said.
“My faith, like the faith of countless other patients like me, gives me strength to defeat this disease, and continue to be the best public steward I can be for the people of this great state,” Hogan said in a statement.
Hogan has undergone three small surgeries, three spinal taps and 25 chemotherapy sessions. He says 95 percent of his cancer is gone but he still has more one more chemo treatment ahead of him.
The first-term Republican just spent five days in the hospital, forcing him to miss the pope's arrival on Tuesday at Joint Base Andrews, where he was greeted by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and their families.
After two and a half days in the nation's capital, the pope heads to New York on Thursday evening and then goes to Philadelphia for the weekend.