WASHINGTON (AP) — Gun-control advocate Sarah Brady disclosed Friday night that she has been battling lung cancer for about a year.
Brady, 59, said on CNN's "Larry King Live" that the original tumor that doctors discovered has disappeared, but two spots remain in the same lung. She was diagnosed last March with non-small cell carcinoma — a slow-moving form of cancer.
"I've never been sick and I've never had symptoms," Brady said, sitting by her husband, Jim, the former White House press secretary. "I have not been given a death sentence. I am far from that."
Sarah Brady, who started smoking as a teenager, said she still smokes, though not as much as when she had a two-pack-a-day habit.
"It's the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with," said Mrs. Brady. "I try not to (smoke), but from time to time I do. . . . I am guilty of smoking and knowing the facts all these years."
She said she lost her father and an aunt to lung cancer.
Mrs. Brady, who wore a blonde wig on the program, said she lost her hair some time ago as a result of chemotherapy. "When it came out, it really came out in droves," she said.
Jim Brady, who was seriously wounded in the 1981 assassination attempt on former President Ronald Reagan, said he gets frustrated over his wife's smoking.
He said that some days he feels like the cartoon character Joe Btfsplk from the comic strip "L'il Abner" — a hard-luck case who is constantly shadowed by a storm cloud.
Mrs. Brady is chairwoman of Handgun Control and the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence. She became active in the gun control movement after her husband was wounded in the assassination attempt. Brady still uses a wheelchair.