Karen Lewis to return to CTU

Evelyn Holmes Image
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Karen Lewis to return to CTU
Months after a brain cancer diagnosis, CTU President Karen Lewis said she is ready to return to work.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis announced she is returning to work next week.

"I'm doing well. Just a little tired. But I'm doing well," she said Thursday at the CTU's 4th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Clergy breakfast. "Again, I had no symptoms. I didn't know I was ill. So to all of a sudden go from being what you think is fine to being very ill, it's very disappointing."

Lewis was diagnosed with a brain tumor in October 2014. She's been out of the public eye ever since having surgery. Her duties as CTU president were carried out by Vice President Jesse Sharkey.

She said she has good days and not so good days, but no really bad days.

"Cancer treatment is no fun. It's no picnic. And anyone that's been through it knows that. I'm way more spiritual about things than I used to be," Lewis said.

At the time of her diagnosis, Lewis was exploring the possibility of running for Chicago mayor. That ended with her illness.

"I really wanted to do this. It's something that I thought about and worked it out with my family," she said.

Lewis endorsed Jesus "Chuy" Garcia for mayor. He's running against current Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Polls show Emanuel has a heft lead, but Lewis thinks Garcia could win.

"I hope he has that big lead and feels confident with it and he stops running all these silly commercials. Save up his money for a run-off when he's going to need it," she said.

Lewis didn't share specifics of her prognosis, but said she's ready to get back to business. "People come and tell me all the time they're praying for me. You can't help but feel better by that," she said.

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