LAFAYETTE, LA (WVUE) - It was a birthday speech unlike any other. Former governor Kathleen Blanco, who served in government for 23 years, says she's always been a fighter, and in an emotional speech today in Lafayette, said she's now in the fight of her life.
The former governor talked about life, death and politics as she gave her first speech since learning she has cancer in her liver.
Blanco called for more civility in a hostile political landscape, and also said she's praying for a miracle.
"There's no known cure for my illness," she said. "I am enduring some interesting treatment on a liver that's otherwise healthy and strong, and my mind is still clear."
Blanco's cancer, began six years ago in her eye, where it had been brought under control with radiation. During her 15-minute speech, she talked about her fight against the cancer's reappearance, as well as the fight for billions of recovery dollars after Katrina. And she denounced what she says is increasing hostility in politics.
"It's heartbreaking to see the decline of civility," she said. "It's taken a back seat to anger, outrage, and crudeness and sexual harassment. And to hear our government for the people and by the people take such a bad rap. Government is important to our lives."
Blanco, who was joined on stage by eight grandchildren, called for people to rise up and reject the negatives in life while embracing the positives.
She also asked everyone, Republicans and Democrats, young and old, to pray for her recovery.