, WASHINGTON, Dec 7 – Former US president Jimmy Carter told church parishioners in his native Georgia on Sunday that he is free of cancer.
The 91-year-old Nobel peace laureate and global humanitarian recently had a tumor removed from his liver, only to find four melanoma spots on his brain.
“My most recent MRI brain scan did not reveal any signs of the original cancer spots nor any new ones,” Carter said in a statement.
“I will continue to receive regular three-week immunotherapy treatments of pembrolizumab,” he added, referring to a cancer drug.
A friend and parishioner of Carter’s told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the former president made the announcement towards the beginning of the Sunday school class he leads at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains.
“He said he got a scan this week and the cancer was gone,” church congregant Jill Stuckey told the paper by phone, adding that “the church, everybody here, just erupted in applause.”
Last month, the Carter Center said the 39th president was responding well to treatment and that there was no evidence of new growth.
The former Democratic president won plaudits when he discussed his illness publicly in August, sounding serene and in high spirits, smiling often and joking with reporters in a thick Georgia drawl.
“You know, I have had a wonderful life. I have got thousands of friends and I have had an exciting and adventurous and gratifying existence,” Carter said.
His grandson James responded to the news stating: “See? I knew he wasn’t really human,” according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Atlanta Braves baseball team congratulated Carter on Twitter, writing “We are so happy to hear that you are cancer-free, Mr President!”
Several of Carter’s relatives died of pancreatic cancer, which tends to show up earlier in life.
Carter, a onetime peanut farmer and former Georgia governor, served one term as US president, from 1977 to 1981.