By Associated Press
HONOLULU (AP) - President Barack Obama says U.S. Rep. Mark Takai of Hawaii has been a champion for American military members and thanked him for his service.
The thanks came Friday after Takai recently said he has cancer and would not seek reelection.
In a statement, Obama said the congressman, who served in the Hawaii Army National Guard, has always been a fighter and will take that spirit to his battle against cancer.
Obama said he and the first lady also appreciated Takai's advocacy for cancer research that has given hope to others fighting the disease. The president offered his continued support.
Takai was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year and recently learned the disease had spread.