I do not consider myself courageous or brave. I just got on with it.” — Sen. Mazie Hirono
On Wednesday, Hirono was honored with a “Courage Award” for her decision to stay in office while battling cancer. The senator has also said she plans to run for re-election this year.
“I knew that this could be, potentially, a long journey, and I wanted to be as open as possible about it,” Hirono said.
“I do not consider myself courageous or brave. I just got on with it. And I made the decision with my husband to be very forthcoming about what I have, realizing that there are people in our country and in our state who face this kind of challenge in their lives every day.”
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa also spoke at the event.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was not there, but prepared a statement that was read on her behalf.
Other attendees included Lt. Gov. Doug Chin — who is running for Hanabusa’s seat in Congress while she seeks to unseat Gov. David Ige — and state Sens. Rosalyn Baker and Josh Green, a physician who is running for lieutenant governor.
Hirono described health care as a right rather than a privilege, noting that without insurance she would likely be bankrupt as a result of her illness.
She added that the Trump administration, along with the general climate in Washington, has provided her a convenient distraction.
“I’m here to tell you that I am plugging away, not fading away,” Hirono said. “My voice remains strong.”
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