Home National news Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee faces battle of her life after cancer diagnosis

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee faces battle of her life after cancer diagnosis

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (far right) , the stalwart Texas representative, is facing the battle of her life after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee has fought tirelessly for groundbreaking legislation throughout her career. She authored the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, creating the first new federal holiday in nearly four decades, and fervently championed the Violence Against Women Act, ensuring its passage for the first time in almost 10 years. Now, the stalwart Texas representative is facing the battle of her life after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

In a statement posted to X on Sunday, the 74-year-old congresswoman disclosed her diagnosis and treatment. “My doctors have confirmed pancreatic cancer, and I am currently undergoing treatment,” Jackson Lee said. “I am confident that my doctors have developed the best possible plan to target my specific disease. The road ahead will not be easy, but I stand in faith that God will strengthen me.”

Jackson Lee has represented Texas’ 18th District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1995. Now in her 15th term, she serves on the House Committees on the Judiciary, Homeland Security, and the Budget, and is the first female Ranking Member of the JudiciarySubcommittee for Crime and Federal Government Surveillance, a subcommittee she chaired during the 117th Congress.

Her legislative achievements are extensive and impactful. Jackson Lee has spearheaded the Sentencing Reform Act, the George Floyd Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act, and the RAISE Act. She has also introduced crucial bills like the Fair Chance for Youth Act, the Kimberly Vaughan Firearm Safe Storage Act, and Kaleif’s Law. An unwavering advocate for women and children, she fervently supports the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and has championed outreach to minority- and women-owned businesses in the commercial space industry. Additionally, she authored the Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Research and Education Act.

Recognized as one of the 50 most effective members of Congress by Congressional Quarterly and among the 10 most influential legislators in the House by U.S. News and World Report, Jackson Lee’s influence extends beyond legislation. She is a founder, member, and chair of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus and the Congressional Children’s Caucus, as well as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Energy Braintrust and co-chair of the Justice Reform Task Force.

Educationally, Jackson Lee holds a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School. She is married to Dr. Elwyn Lee, an administrator at the University of Houston. She has two children: Jason Lee, a Harvard graduate, and Erica Lee, a Duke graduate and member of the Harris County School Board. She is also the proud grandmother of twins Ellison Bennett Carter and Roy Lee Carter III.

Despite her diagnosis, Jackson Lee remains resolute in her commitment to her congressional duties. “I am committed to working with our Congressional leadership, including Leader Hakeem Jefferies and the speaker of the House, to serve this nation and be present for votes on legislation that is critical for the prosperity and security of the American people,” she said.

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