Mushkegowuk grand chief undergoing chemo
Mushkegowuk Grand Chief Stan Louttit will begin chemotherapy treatment in Kingston on Nov. 13 as part of his battle with cancer.
Louttit previously underwent surgery to remove tumours from his colon and liver but surgeons discovered the cancer had spread to his stomach lining. Days following the surgery, doctors recommended he undergo chemotherapy.
“I’ll undergo the first round of chemotherapy (on Nov. 13) and we’ll wait a couple of days to see how my body is responding to it,” Louttit said. “Then we’ll decide the next steps from there.”
Louttit returned from a Kingston hospital last week and continues to fulfill his duties as grand chief, though on a limited basis.
“I go in for a few hours a day,” he said. “We’re just taking it day by day.”
News of Louttit’s battle with cancer became public when he wrote an open letter to friends and colleagues on Oct. 14 where he noted the unsuccessful attempt to remove the tumours.
In another open letter on Oct. 22, Louttit expressed his shock at the news upon waking up from surgery but is now ready to take on this challenge.
“I am ready for that fight,” he wrote. “I know it will be tough, but when you think about it, not everything is a walk in the park.”
Louttit also said that in addition to the chemotherapy, he is exploring alternative treatment methods, including traditional healing.
“I owe this to myself and my family,” he wrote. “What can I lose?”
Despite his health concerns, Louttit said he remains positive and has received a lot of support from friends, colleagues and community members. Former Kashechewan chief and Mushkegowuk deputy grand chief Jonathan Solomon created a Facebook group called Support and Prayer For Our Grand Chief Stan Louttit and his Family. The group has more than 3,600 members and many have posted comments expressing support and prayers for Louttit and his family.
“Everyone has been very supportive and I thank them all for that,” Louttit said.
Louttit is a Fort Albany member who grew up in Attawapiskat before moving to Moose Factory during his teens. He is currently serving his third term as Mushkegowuk grand chief since first being elected in 2004. He was re-elected in 2007 and 2011.
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