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Portland Commissioner Nick Fish Says He Has Stomach Cancer


Water Board Commissioner Nick Fish speaks at a Public Utility Board meeting on Tuesday July 18, 2017.

Water Board Commissioner Nick Fish speaks at a Public Utility Board meeting on Tuesday July 18, 2017.

Cass Ray/OPB

Portland Commissioner Nick Fish announced Thursday he has stomach cancer. 

Fish says he is receiving outpatient treatment at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.

“The medicine will weaken my immune system, but should not prevent me from continuing to serve on the City Council,” he wrote in a press release and a Facebook post.

“This is the biggest challenge I have ever faced. I intend to fight this disease with every fiber of my body.”

The commissioner’s staff said they expect only minor adjustments to his schedule, and that he will continue to meet with constituents and attend council hearings.

Fish’s chief of staff, Sonia Schmanski, says making the diagnosis public was a natural decision for the commissioner.

“He’s open. He’s transparent. He’s a people person. And he wanted to bring the community, so many of whom he knows personally, in on this news,” she said.  “I’m not surprised at all.”

Fish is the commissioner in charge of the Portland Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services. He’s served on the city council for nine years.

He is up for re-election next May. Though Fish told the Portland Tribune in July he would seek re-election, Schmanski says Fish only recently learned of his illness and has not yet decided whether to seek another term. 

She said she expects that conversation will happen “in the near future.”

nick fish city council portland cancer

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