Rob Ford's health: Update expected today

An update is expected today on the health of Rob Ford, who has left the Toronto mayoral race to run in his former riding because of a tumour in his abdomen.

Toronto Sun columnist speaks to mayor by phone, says 'he's very sick'

An update on Mayor Rob Ford's health is expected to come on Wednesday. 3:07

An update is expected today on the health of Rob Ford, who has left the Toronto mayoral race to run in his former riding because of a tumour in his abdomen.

Ford, 45, went to Humber River Hospital last Wednesday, at which point doctors discovered the tumour. He has since been moved to Mount Sinai Hospital, where members of his family have been shuttling in and out for days.

A news conference by doctors to provide an update on Ford's condition is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET.

  • CBC News will have live coverage of the news conference online, on television and on radio

At a briefing late last week, Dr. Zane Cohen told reporters that Ford's tumour was a "fair size" and located in his lower-to-mid abdomen.

Mayor Rob Ford, seen at his campaign office last month, has withdrawn from his campaign for re-election after doctors found a tumour in his abdomen. His brother Doug Ford says an update on his health could come as soon as Wednesday. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

The Toronto Sun's Joe Warmington reported Tuesday that the mayor has since had a lung biopsy, following an initial biopsy taken last week from the abdominal tumour.

"We were kind of floored by that, because we knew about the first tumour, but we didn't really fully understand just, you know, what we're dealing with here," Warmington, who spoke to Ford by telephone, told CBC News on Tuesday.

"And so, that was upsetting obviously to hear it and it was hard to hear how much he's struggling because that's not an easy thing to go through and he's very sick."

Warmington said the mayor told him that he has been vomiting and is in pain.

"It's extremely tough right now," the mayor's brother, Coun. Doug Ford, said outside Mount Sinai on Tuesday. "Our family's strong, Rob's strong and with all the support of the people, that's what keeps us going."

Ford was previously hospitalized in 2009 for a tumour on his appendix. He had abdominal surgery to remove the tumour.

Surprise ballot switch

While Rob Ford has pulled out of the mayoral race, his name will be on the ballot as a council candidate in Ward 2.

His brother Doug Ford is now running for mayor instead. The Oct. 27 municipal election is less than six weeks away. Prior to entering the mayor's race last Friday, he had not registered to run for re-election on council.

Rob Ford spent nearly a decade on council before running for mayor in 2010. His brother was elected to council when Ford was elected as mayor.

The mayor has been to hospital on several occasions in recent years, as he sought treatment for a throat infection, issues related to kidney stones and a reported problem with his toe.

Ford's term as mayor has been filled with controversy, particularly in the last year and a half during a scandal that saw him admit to using crack cocaine. He eventually entered rehab and returned to work in June after a two-month absence.

When reports first emerged that someone had recorded the mayor smoking crack, he denied both using the drug and the existence of the video. But after police revealed they had obtained the so-called crack tape, Ford admitted to using crack and said his drug use had likely occurred when he was in one of his "drunken stupors."

The drug-related scandal made headlines around the world and turned Ford into a celebrity. He was mocked by high-profile comedians on late-night TV and even made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel's show.

Throughout it all, Ford defied calls to step down from office, even though his fellow councillors stripped him of some of his powers in the wake of the drug scandal.

In the earlier half of his mayoral term, Ford faced a conflict-of-interest challenge that nearly forced him from office. But he won an appeal that reversed a judge's order for him to be removed from office.

He also made headlines when coaching a high-school football team and when simply driving around the city.

Ford is a father of two school-age children. He is married and lives in Etobicoke.

With files from CBC's Steven D'Souza and Jamie Strashin, and The Canadian Press