Hill leaders react to Menino cancer news

Former Mayor Thomas Menino is being treated for “advanced” cancer, the Boston Globe reported tonight, triggering early words of shock and support from local leaders.

“I’m in shellshock right now,” said state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez, who long worked for Menino, including as an adviser on Mission Main issues, starting in the mid-1990s.

“One thing I know about him is, hey, he takes on every fight, so he’s going to take this one on with both fists in the air,” Sánchez told the Gazette. “He’ll do it in a way that leaves us with an even better example of what a human can be, what a man can be.”

Sánchez said he spoke with Menino last week, but the former mayor made no mention of the cancer diagnosis.

“He doesn’t hang his laundry out,” Sánchez said. “That’s what makes him so incredible. He doesn’t wear things on his sleeve.”

Back of the Hill area City Councilor Matt O’Malley reacted on Twitter, saying, “Tom Menino can’t be beaten. Period. A grateful city’s love and support to he and [wife] Angela. We know they will get through this.”

The Globe article, which includes an interview with Menino, reports he is suffering from a cancer that spread to his liver and lymph nodes. He is being treated with radiation and surgery is not an option, the article reports.

“My attitude really is, we’ll get through it… I don’t want sympathy. There are people worse off than me,” the article quotes Menino as saying.

Menino, who is 71, left office in January after an unprecedented 20-year reign as mayor. His decision not to run for re-election was motivated in part by repeated health issues, including other cancer treatments.

Mayor Martin Walsh, his successor, issued the following statement tonight: “I’ve never known Tom Menino to back down from a fight, and I don’t expect him to start now. Mayor Menino has always been here for the people of Boston, and we’re behind him today, 100 percent. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, Angela, their family and many friends.”

Former Mayor Thomas Menino. (File Photo/Mayor's Office)

Former Mayor Thomas Menino. (File Photo/Mayor’s Office)

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