CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis suffered a stroke last week, in the same area of the brain where she had a tumor removed in 2014.
In a post on Facebook, Lewis said she “had a small and annoying stroke Thursday.”
“Keep me in your prayers,” she wrote. “I’m doing well and will be fine! Don’t freak out or panic😀!”
Lewis said the stroke was in the same area of the brain where she had a tumor removed three years ago.
“It was so minor that doctors could barely see it upon my initial examination, so please know that my spirits are high and I am feeling pretty good. This is a minor setback in my recovery from brain cancer, but rest assured I will be back on my feet soon,” she said in a statement provided by the union. “Thanks to everyone who has sent prayers and wishes for a speedy recovery. My only request is that we refrain from talking policy and politics until I am back up to speed. Once I return to 100 percent good health, I’ll be back to giving hell to the usual suspects—you know who you are.”
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he contacted Lewis to wish her well:
“I reached out to Karen this morning to wish her a speedy recovery and, as anyone who knows Karen would assume, she was in a good humor. Karen Lewis has always been a strong voice for Chicago’s children and Chicago’s teachers, and the strength of her voice is only matched by the strength of her will. A stroke can’t keep Karen Lewis down.”
Lewis’ brain cancer diagnosis in 2014 derailed plans to run against Emanuel in 2015. She ended up backing Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who forced Emanuel into a runoff, the first ever in a Chicago mayor’s race.
While she didn’t end up running for mayor, Lewis led contract negotiations with the Chicago Public Schools last year. The union agreed to a four-year pact that avoided a second teachers’ strike under the Emanuel administration.