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The United States Senator John McCain died on August 25, 2018, at the age of 81. One of the most iconic GOP politicians, McCain was respected on both sides of the aisle as a person who during his career of service to his nation has been captured and held and tortured for more than five years in a Vietnamese POW camp. The cause of death was brain cancer complications. Shortly before, he has stopped all treatment, wanting to spend his final days with his family. 

His family released a statement saying: “Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28pm on August 25, 2018. With the Senator when he passed were his wife Cindy and their family. At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for sixty years.” 

Img source: CNBC.com

Senator McCain struggle with brain cancer began in 2017 after he underwent the surgery to remove a clot above his left eye. The surgery revealed a tumor, called glioblastoma, which caused the clot. The tumor was removed entirely, but this particular type can spread through the brain on a microscopic level, making any treatment highly difficult. Senator underwent radiation and chemotherapy treatments in an effort to stop the tumor from spreading. 

Glioblastoma is notoriously difficult to treat due to the way it spreads by forming finger-like tentacles that bury themselves in the brain, making nay surgery a high-risk one. The median survival for adults with glioblastoma is between 11 and 15 months. 

After the surgery, Senator McCain was optimistic, answering questions on his health: “Fine, fine, fine, it’s a tough challenge, you know, of course,” he said. “I’m getting the best care you could possibly have, I’m eating well, I’m feeling fine, getting plenty of exercise. I expect Congress to go out here pretty soon, and I will be back in September.” 

Img source: vox.com

One of his last actions as the U.S. Senator was voting No on Republican bid to repeal Affordable Cara Act, Aka Obamacare. He issued a statement that reads: “From the beginning, I have believed that Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with a solution that increases competition, lowers costs, and improves care for the American people. The so-called ‘skinny repeal’ amendment the Senate voted on today would not accomplish those goals. While the amendment would have repealed some of Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens. …” 

His familiar fighting spirit never left him and he tweeted soon after his diagnoses: “I greatly appreciate the outpouring of support — unfortunately for my sparring partners in Congress, I’ll be back soon, so stand-by!” 

Senator McCain was born August 29, 1936, after graduating from Naval Academy, he joined the Navy like his father and grandfather. He had several brushes with death during his naval career. He was aboard USS Forestall in 1967, when a fire claimed the lives of 134 sailors. During his training, he survived a water landing, and while serving in Spain he flew into power lines and crashed. He was shot down over Vietnam in 1967 and captured. He wasn’t released until 1973. He retired from the Navy in 1981.  

Img source: politico.com

Next year he was elected in U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona, where he spent four years. In 1986 he was elected to the Senate. During his time in Senate, he served as the chair of Senate Armed Services Committee, showing the influence the Navy had on his life.  

McCain tried for the White House twice. The first time in 2000, where he didn’t make it past the Republican primaries. The second time was in 2008 when he lost to Democrat Barack Obama in general elections. During the campaign, McCain demonstrated his humorous side, often making jokes about his age.  

During his military service, Senator McCain received various decorations, including Purple Heart, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, and Distinguished Flying Cross. 

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Senator John McCain was very committed to his family commitment, taking great pride in his service to his country. In an interview for The New York Times in 2015, he said: “Every single day is a day less that I am going to be able to serve in the Senate.” 

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