Rob Ford tributes pile up as ailing former Toronto mayor battles cancer
Mayor says his thoughts are with Ford as he remains in hospital surrounded by his family
Toronto Mayor John Tory this morning joined a list of well-wishers sending messages to Coun. Rob Ford as the former mayor battles cancer in hospital surrounded by his family.
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Tory, who clashed with Ford during the 2014 mayoral campaign before health reasons forced Ford out of the race, said on Twitter Friday morning that his thoughts are with Ford "as he continues to battle cancer."
Thinking of Councillor <a href="https://twitter.com/TorontoRobFord">@TorontoRobFord</a> as he continues to battle cancer.—@JohnTory
Former NDP MP Olivia Chow, who ran against Doug Ford and Tory in Toronto's 2014 municipal election, offered her best wishes.
Wishing <a href="https://twitter.com/TorontoRobFord">@TorontoRobFord</a> and his family strength and love.—@oliviachow
Coun. Norm Kelly, who served as Ford's deputy mayor, asked people Thursday night to keep him in their thoughts.
Please keep Rob Ford in your prayers tonight.—@norm
Canadian hip-hop icon Maestro and singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith have both offered their support.
Sending a prayer for the Big Guy. <a href="https://twitter.com/robford">@RobFord</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/thumbsUp?src=hash">#thumbsUp</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Toronto?src=hash">#Toronto</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/tgif?src=hash">#tgif</a> <a href="https://t.co/cb7UKOrc3M">https://t.co/cb7UKOrc3M</a>—@MaestroFreshWes
All politics aside, I would like to wish Rob Ford a speedy recovery<br>And to the Ford family, strength during this difficult time RS—@RonSexsmith
Toronto Coun. Joe Cressy spoke with CBC Friday morning to offer his best wishes.
"The man has been a fighter his whole life and you put politics aside and you want to see him back on the floor of council," Cressy said.
"I'm hoping to see him soon and I'm encouraging all Torontonians to wish him well, as you would for anybody."
Cressy has said in the past that he hasn't always seen eye-to-eye with Ford when it comes to politics.
Last February, he said: "We may disagree, but you've got to disagree respectfully."
Coun. Joe Mihevc said that while he, too, may have disagreed with Ford in the past, he wants the former mayor to know the "community is behind him."
"There are times to fight and times to fight hard politically and there are times to basically put that behind you and recognize that there's a human being there, Mihevc said Friday.
Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti offered his best wishes, but also had some strong words for those who have been critical of Ford in the past.
"They spent their anger pointing at the man and the person," Mammoliti said.
"I want them to just leave the family alone. Let them try to get Rob as strong as they could. I think that needs to be said."
Coun. David Shiner said the discussion around Ford's health shouldn't be a political one.
"This is nothing about politics. This is someone who is not well who we've known and has worked very hard for the citizens of Toronto, cared about them a lot," Shiner said.
"This is about a person who really cared for and really cares for people in the city."
Well-wishers flood website set up by Ford family
There were more than 3,300 posts on a website the family set up to gather messages of support for Ford.
His office issued a statement Thursday in response to social media rumours that Ford had died.
The statement said Ford remains in hospital "with his family beside him as he continues to battle against cancer."
Ford's office asked for privacy and said it would issue a news release if there are any further updates regarding the Ward 2 councillor's health.
Ford's nephew, Michael Ford, who is a trustee with the Toronto District School Board, thanked supporters on Twitter Friday.
Thank you for all your prayers and thoughts, we all very much appreciate them.—@MichaelFordTO
Earlier this month, Doug Ford said his brother was pursuing a targeted chemotherapy under the Panov program at Mount Sinai Hospital.
The treatment involves implanting a piece of tissue from a patient's tumour into mice, which then will take about three months to grow in the rodents. Researchers then test different chemotherapy treatments on the mice to see which drugs are most effective in decreasing the size of the tumours.
Rob Ford, 46, was hospitalized last October for several days and later revealed he had a growth on his bladder. In November, his brother Doug Ford confirmed that Rob had two tumours on his bladder.
Ford underwent aggressive cancer surgery last spring to remove an abdominal tumour after he was diagnosed with liposarcoma — a cancer that grows in fat cells.