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February 28, 2014

Following cancer treatment, Hill gears up for campaign

Ipswich state rep. says he's ready for ninth term

IPSWICH — State Rep. Brad Hill is back on Beacon Hill full time after spending two months recovering from a bone marrow transplant as part of his cancer treatment.

Now he’s gearing up to seek re-election for his ninth two-year term.

The Ipswich Republican, the minority whip in the House, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2008 but did not make his battle with the disease public until last November, when he knew he’d have to take time off from the Statehouse to recover.

Multiple myeloma is cancer that affects plasma cells, a type of white blood cell that produces antibodies. It represents about 1 percent of all cancers in the United States, where some 22,000 people are diagnosed with it each year, according to Massachusetts General Hospital’s website.

“I am feeling great,” Hill said this week. “The results are coming back better than expected. I am back full time, and from this point on, there should be no further setbacks in regards to my health.”

He said that for the most part, his treatments are complete.

Earlier this month, Hill went to the Ipswich Board of Selectmen to talk about their interest in a home-rule petition for more liquor licenses, advising them the licenses must be issued to a site-specific location.

Hill said he was able to work from home during his recovery, but he missed his daily work at the Statehouse and meeting regularly with constituents. He did go into the office on occasion to take roll call votes.

Because his immune system was weakened, he had limited access to people during his recovery.

“If it wasn’t for family, friends and the constituents and the support I’ve received, I wouldn’t have got through this,” he said. “The kind words and prayers got me through.”

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