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Sen. Tillis announces cancer diagnosis, expects ‘full recovery’

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North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis (R), months after squeaking out a reelection win, announced that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undergo surgery next week.

“I am in the hands of outstanding medical professionals and expect to make a full recovery,” Tillis said in a Monday statement.

“I am blessed that my cancer was detected relatively early, and I can’t emphasize enough how important routine screenings are, regardless of how healthy you think you are,” he continued. “I had no symptoms and would have never imagined I had cancer.”

About one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetimes, according to Cancer.org.

“My prognosis is good because I went to my annual physical and received a PSA test, which led to a biopsy and eventually my diagnosis,” Tillis also said in the statement. “Early detection can truly save lives.”

The 60-year-old Tillis has served in the Senate since 2015 and beat Democrat Cal Cunningham back in November by less than two percentage points.

The full Senate will not convene again until mid-April, according to NBC News. Although, the outlet notes that it is unclear whether the North Carolina senator will miss any votes in the upper chamber, where it is split 50-50 and Vice President Kamala Harris serves as the tie-breaking vote.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Boston Celtics Player Legally Changing Name to ‘Enes Kanter Freedom’ to Celebrate U.S. Citizenship

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Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is celebrating becoming a U.S. citizen in an incredible way. The 29-year-old athlete from Turkey is having his citizenship oath ceremony Monday, and will legally change his name to Enes Kanter Freedom.

Kanter is an outspoken human rights advocate who had his Turkish passport revoked in 2017 after he criticized Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mediaite reports “he has also criticized NBA stars Michael Jordan and LeBron James for not doing enough to help the Black community and not speaking out against exploitative labor practices in China respectively.”

Celtics head coach Ime Udoka told the Boston Globe the team is “all for” the player’s name change. Kanter’s manager says the player will complete his legal name change to have Kanter become his middle name and Freedom be his new last name at Monday’s ceremony.

“We congratulated him as a group for getting his American citizenship last week,” Udoka said. “That’s who Enes is, we’re proud of him. Enes is who he is. He’s passionate about his stances and the name change; you look at [Ron] Artest [who changed his name to Metta Sandiford-Artest in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak] and guys that have done it in the past. It’s something he wants to express and we’re all for it.”

Kanter has already changed his official Twitter account to Enes Kanter FREEDOM with his new last name in all caps. Freedom made waves when he tweeted the following on November 18: Money over Morals for the ‘King’. Sad & disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice. They really do ‘shut up & dribble’ when Big Boss [inserted Chinese flag] says so. Did you educate yourself about the slave labor that made your shoes or is that not part of your research?”

The tweet included photos of basketball shoes he wore painted with human rights depictions and phrases such as “hey still researching and getting educated?” as well as “I am informed and educated on the situation.”

The statement is with regard to his criticism of LeBron James’ partnership with Nike. “Nike remains one of the NBA’s biggest sponsors as both organizations feed off their partnerships with China” reports Mediaite. Kanter Freedom also made an offer to take Michael Jordan and Nike co-founder Phil Knight to China in order for the men to “visit these slave labor camps and you can see it with your own eyes.”

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