DENVER (CBS4) – Denver City Council President Albus Brooks is battling cancer once again.
Brooks, 39, was first diagnosed in July 2016 with chondrosarcoma, a rare skeletal cancer, after experiencing muscle stiffness while running a road race. After surgery, he spent more than a year ‘cancer-free,’ until doctors found a new tumor during a routine checkup this month.
“Last time it was 16 pounds, the size of a cantaloupe,” Brooks told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “This one is the size of a grape.”
A smaller tumor has Brooks hopeful for a quick recovery, but it was no small task telling his wife and three young kids about his diagnosis.
“My kids get worried when I look worried,” he said. “So I had to wait a couple of days to make sure I say it a couple times in the mirror and I didn’t break down. As soon as I said it my six year old was looking in my eyes saying, ‘It’s going to be okay dad.’”
The repeat diagnosis came as a shock to Brooks, but he said he’s taking on this battle the same way he did the last time – with a positive attitude.
“You have to be positive. You have to be optimistic,” Brooks said. “Let me tell you, looking at a 6, 9 and 11 year old every day will make you say, ‘Okay, I’m going to be positive today because they need Dad.’”
It’s his family’s confidence that he’ll beat cancer again and support from the community that keeps Brooks smiling.
“Event those who don’t necessarily agree with my politics or my policies have been so sweet and sharing such amazing messages,” he said.
He even flashed a smile when he explained the painful road ahead to remove the tumor near his spine.\
“They’re going to kind of go through my stomach to get it,” he said. “It’s a complex surgery. Luckily we have a great team doing it, so I’m hopeful and optimistic.”
On social media, Brooks shared a message asking for prayers, not just for him, but for others going through the same uphill battle.
“What helps in a struggle is community,” he said. “We’re in this together.”
Brooks will undergo surgery the first week of May followed by a couple weeks of recovery at home. Before that happens, he plans to speak at CancerCon in Denver on Friday where he will share his message of hope and resilience.
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.