Majority Leader Kim Ward reveals breast cancer diagnosis, comments on sex abuse bill

This Week in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward is in the middle of a fight over a bill supported by survivors of sexual abuse. But she’s also in a personal fight for her health as she revealed today.

“I had a lumpectomy and four treatments of chemo,” Ward said.

In early December it was no Christmas present for Majority Leader Kim Ward. Breast cancer and diagnosed with a hereditary gene mutation that makes other cancers more likely.

“I am going to get a double mastectomy because it’s just the safest thing to do,” Ward said.

But the first woman to lead the Senate says she hasn’t missed a beat.

“I feel great,” Ward said. “I wasn’t sick during any of it. I would take a treatment on Thursday and come in on Monday.”

Ward may feel good but some say she’s a source of pain.

Survivors of sex abuse want a bill passed to let them sue even if their statute of limitations has run out. It passed the House and out of a Senate committee.

“It always seems that the leader, in this case it’s the majority leader Kim Ward that’s holding it up,” sex abuse survivor Lara Fortney McKeever said.

“Just because we didn’t pass it in a day doesn’t mean that maybe someday we don’t,” Ward said.

Ward says she’s actively engaged with legal experts. Her worry is that if the statute of limitations is ignored this time, why not ignore it all the time?

“We’re the ones that put our hands on the bible and said we would uphold the constitution and we need to know what ramifications are downstream,” Ward said.

But those survivors think the fix is in and special interests have the majority leader in their pocket so she’s blocking the bill. Ward denies that.

“I don’t care about the lobbyist, I just care about the constitution and the law,” Ward said.

The best of times and the worst of times for Ward who was named the first female Majority Leader and weeks later learned she had breast cancer.

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