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Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst again being treated for cancer

January 16, 2019
FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2019 file photo, Washington State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst administers the oath of office to re-elected Justice Susan Owens during a ceremony on opening day of the Washington Legislature at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Fairhurst says she is once again being treated for cancer. She made the announcement Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019 toward the end of her State of the Judiciary address to a joint session of the Washington Legislature. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst said Wednesday she is being treated for cancer, five years after describing the outcome of her previous bout as a miracle.

She made the announcement toward the end of her State of the Judiciary address to the Washington Legislature in Olympia.

She intends to continue working. “I still believe in miracles,” she said.

Fairhurst, who first was elected in 2002, was diagnosed with colon cancer in late 2008. Doctors said three years later that it had spread to her lung and she was cancer-free by 2014.

In a statement, the court said Fairhurst learned late last year that her colon cancer had returned and reappeared in her lungs and liver. She began chemotherapy this month and does not expect to miss court except for medical appointments.

Fairhurst, 61, was elected chief justice by her colleagues in 2016.

“You have all of our love, all of our prayers,” Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib said.

Fairhurst praised the cooperation between the Legislature and the judiciary. She said one of the court’s priorities is obtaining more money for court interpreters. The number of languages spoken in Washington’s courts has jumped 30 percent, while funding for interpreters has remained flat since 2008, she said.

Other priorities include more training for judges and assembling a task force to examine courthouse security, she said.

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