Rob Ford's re-election campaign, which has seen him hit second place in the polls in recent days, took an unexpected turn this week. Ford is in hospital with a suspected tumor and is currently undergoing testing.
Ford has a personal history with cancer. CBC News reports that the Toronto mayor, who became notorious because of his substance use and sensational statements, had a tumor on his appendix removed in 2009. People quotes Ford from a CTV interview at that time about his experience.
"I had a major surgery on my appendix; they took out a piece of my colon. So I had a tumor in my appendix, and that's pretty scary when that happens."Ford's father died in 2006 of colon cancer shortly after his own diagnosis.
Earlier this week, Ford visited his doctor after experiencing unbearable abdominal pain which had persisted for several months. He was admitted to hospital, and CBC News reports he underwent a CT scan, ultrasound, and biopsy of a mass in his stomach. Results of the biopsy will take another week.
Dr. Zane Cohen, the colorectal surgeon leading Ford's medical team, said they would perform an MRI and discuss options once they have further information.
The mayoral election is set for October 27 in Toronto. Bloomberg reports, Mayor Ford is running a distant second behind frontrunner John Tory. A Nanos poll conducted during the last week of August had Tory leading at 42 percent, with Ford and Olivia Chow trailing at 28 and 26 percent, respectively.
Another poll conducted at the same time, however, shows a much closer race. The Wall Street Journal states a Forum Research poll from August 26 had Tory at 34 percent, Ford at 31 percent, and Chow at 23 percent.
Members of Toronto city council expressed disbelief about Ford's condition. Councilor Joe Mihevc said he was concerned.
"It's a shocker for us all. We thought he was in good health and he was in recovery mode from health issues that he was struggling with."The Toronto Star, which is no fan of Ford's, published an editorial that wished him well.
"It's no secret that this newspaper's editorials have stood in staunch opposition to Ford and his agenda. In this space we have repeatedly called for his ousting as mayor. But not like this. Not through an illness that we wouldn't wish on anyone.Dr. Cohen said the mass is a "fair size," and that until further testing is performed, "[w]e are still in a holding pattern."
"He's a fighter. He hangs in. And here's hoping he'll keep fighting to triumph over this illness and return to health. His kids deserve to keep their father; his siblings shouldn't be deprived of their brother, nor his mother robbed of her son.
"As for politics, we'll discuss that some other time."