In a surprise announcement December 6, federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced publicly that he has been diagnosed with leukemia.
“During my annual physical exam last spring, my family doctor happened to detect an anomaly in my white blood cell count. She immediately referred me to a specialist, Dr. (Nicholas) Finn,” LeBlanc said in a press release.
The minister confirmed that “after several additional tests and consultations, doctors diagnosed me with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in April 2017.”
Dr. Finn explained that “CLL is a chronic disease in the sense that it must be closely monitored and sometimes treated, but can be controlled. CLL is one of the most common types of leukemia in adults.”
LeBlanc added, “like tens of thousands of Canadians living with chronic illness, I will continue to work and to serve as Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister, including during treatments.”
“Minister LeBlanc decided to begin his treatments next week. Due to the stage of the condition, the minister has the flexibility to schedule treatments in a way that will have minimal impact on his work. The treatments will conclude this spring. Minister LeBlanc can then expect a pause in treatment for many years, with only routine follow-ups,” said Dr. Finn.
“My decision to begin the treatments could not have happened at a better time. The parliamentary calendar gives me the flexibility to start right away,” Mr. LeBlanc said.
The minister continued, “Jolène and I are very grateful for the kind attention we are receiving from the doctors. We realize many Canadians face health challenges much more difficult than this. I am confident that this will not impact the work I will continue to do for Canadians.”