State Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington) has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, her office announced Monday.
The popular South Jersey lawmaker and former Philadelphia TV news anchorwoman, said in a statement that she could undergo surgery early this week and hopes to be well enough to attend the upper house's lameduck session expected to begin this month or early next month.
In the statement, Allen said she is exploring treatment with a world-class team of physicians. She did not provide additional details about her illness or reveal where she is seeking care.Allen, a wealthy Edgewater Park resident, has served parts of Burlington and Camden counties in the Senate for 12 years. She missed most of the 2008 session with what was described as pulmonary problems. In the Senate she has given a lot of her attention to childcare, health care, education, housing and tax relief issues.
Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex) Monday offered Allen his well wishes.
"On behalf of the entire Senate, I would like to extend my heartfelt thoughts and prayers to Senator Allen at this time,'' he said. "Diane has been a fierce fighter for her constituents, so if there is anyone who can beat this health battle, it's her. I know, first hand, that one of the best medicines in this fight is to have a healthy dose of support from family and friends. Senator Allen has this in abundance and I'm sure it will make all the difference. She will be missed in the Senate right now, but we wish her all the best for a swift and full recovery so that she can return to doing the people's business that she loves so much.
"Our thoughts and prayers will remain with her and her family."