KGVO received a press release from Ginny Merriam, Communications Director for the City of Missoula on Tuesday, stating that Mayor John Engen has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

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The release states that Mayor Engen had been experiencing abdominal pain and has been fatigued for the last few months. He had an MRI and then a biopsy that confirmed the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

Engen  provided comments about his diagnosis in the press release, stating, ‘This is not the health news anyone wants to receive, but I suffer from optimism and have high hopes that treatment will extend my life so I can continue the service I love among talented, committed colleagues and the community. I’ve got a long list and hope to make my way through it. I’m being very public about this personal news because I may have to step back occasionally from some optional duties that I’ve enjoyed over the years and my full calendar of appointments may get rearranged depending on treatment and my strength. I want folks to know I’m still very much at the helm, but if I am incapacitated and no longer able to meet the obligations of this job, I’ll step down.”

Engen said his physicians have not yet provided a prognosis, but will keep his staff and city officials up to date on his treatment schedule.

Engen was just reelected for a fifth term as Missoula’s mayor.


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