Halifax councillor makes cancer diagnosis public, putting ‘health above everything else’

A Halifax-area councillor has announced that he was recently diagnosed with cancer, which will impact his ability to work in the coming months.

Coun. Paul Russell, who represents the Lower Sackville area, said in a statement Tuesday that he was recently diagnosed with cancer in his head and neck area, which will requite almost two months of radiation and chemotherapy treatment.

“We caught this cancer early, and I do expect to recover fully,” he said.

“Through this treatment, and for some time afterwards, I am putting my health above everything else. I need to do this so that I can continue to work for my community.”

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He said this will cause a “significant change in my ability to meet and to work as much as I have been.”

“There will likely be unscheduled absences and last-minute cancellations. I will not be around the community anywhere near as much as I would like,” he said.

Russell added that he believes it would be “irresponsible” to not explain why.

“Through this time, I am asking for your patience and understanding as I navigate this chapter of my life,” the statement said.

“Aside from this, I also ask each and every one of you to tell your loved ones that you love them.”

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