Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco has liver cancer, asks for prayers as she fights for her life

Former Governor Kathleen Blanco

Former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco is once again battling cancer.

The eye cancer that Blanco was treated for six years ago has spread to her liver.

“I am in a fight for my own life, one that will be difficult to win,” Blanco said in an open letter to Louisiana.

She is undergoing treatment in Philadelphia and asks for prayers.

Blanco, a New Iberia native, was the first and only woman to ever be elected governor in Louisiana. She served as governor from 2004-2008 and didn’t seek a second term.

Before she was governor, she served as lieutenant governor, as a member of the Public Service Commission, and on the Louisiana House of Representatives.

Gov. John Bel Edwards released the following statement in response to the news:

“Donna and I have been blessed to come to know Gov. Blanco and her large, beautiful family over the past several years. She is a strong woman of incredible faith, a deep and abiding love of Louisiana and all its people. Now we ask the people of our state to join their prayers to ours that she, aided by the Great Physician as well as her medical team, wins a great victory over her cancer and is restored to full health.”

Blanco invested historic amounts of money in public education while governor, but she became a polarizing figure as she helped to lead a disorganized response to Hurricane Katrina, one of the largest disasters in history.