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State Rep. Deb Mell Diagnosed With Cancer

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Deborah Mell

Illinois State Rep. Deborah Mell (File Photo; Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 06/14/12 12:06 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – State Rep. Deborah Mell (D-Chicago), one of three openly gay Illinois lawmakers, reportedly has been diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer.

According to the Windy City Times, Mell said she is seeking expert advice from her doctors, and will undergo more tests, including a genetic test to help determine her treatment options.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

“I am very grateful for my wife, Christin, my family and friends and especially the radiology team at Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Center at Northwestern who found the cancer,” Mell told the Windy City Times. “I will continue to serve my constituents, and hope for a speedy recovery.”

Mell, 43, married her longtime partner Christin Baker, 36, last August in Iowa.

According to the Windy City Times, Mell was asking for prayers, “because she is a miserable patient.”

Mell also tweeted thanks Thursday morning for “well wishes and kind words, especially the messages from women who are dealing with this disease.”

Mell was first elected to office in 2008. She is the daughter of longtime Ald. Richard Mell (33rd), and she is the sister-in-law of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. She regularly attended Blagojevich’s trials, sitting next to her sister, Patti, to provide comfort.

She was also a co-sponsor of the legislation that legalized same-sex civil unions in Illinois, and has also co-sponsored pending legislation to legalize gay marriage in Illinois.

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