Oct 4, 2022 - Politics

Former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon fighting cancer

Former Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon smiles at a podium during a press conference

Former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon in 2007. Photo: Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

Former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon announced on Facebook over the weekend that he is fighting multiple myeloma.

  • Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the white blood cells — called plasma cells — in the bone marrow.

Driving the news: Gordon wrote that he was diagnosed in June after suffering from excruciating pain in his lower back.

  • Gordon wrote that he's being treated by Dr. Rafael Fonseca at the Mayo Clinic and Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a transplant surgeon and bioscientist in Los Angeles, whom he described as two of the best doctors in the country for treating his condition.
  • Since the diagnosis, Gordon has been undergoing weekly chemotherapy and will begin stem cell treatment next month.

What he's saying: "I'm fighting it. I'm going to beat it," Gordon tells Axios.

  • Gordon says he hopes to be "back to somewhat normal" early next year.
  • In his Facebook post, Gordon noted that his medical bills have been substantial but tells Axios that he's been able to pay them.

Of note: Former aide Bill Scheel tells Axios that Gordon's doctors said he has a very strong likelihood of a full recovery.

Catch up quick: Gordon was elected mayor in 2003 and served for eight years.

  • During his time in office, he was instrumental in revitalizing downtown Phoenix, including bringing ASU's campus there and helping launch the light rail.
  • Gordon served as chief of staff to Mayor Skip Rimsza before getting elected to the Phoenix City Council in 1997.

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