Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The career public servant was in good spirits as he shared the diagnosis at a news conference in Waterford Township Tuesday.
“Alex Trebek has nothing on me,” Patterson says playfully. The popular game show host announced that he’s battling the same form of cancer earlier this month.
“I was diagnosed on the 15th of March with stage four pancreatic cancer,” Patterson continues. “With that being said, I was gonna make (an) announcement about my career that is really a career-ending kind of decision.”
While the County Executive of more than 25 years says he intends to complete his term in office, he says will not seek re-election in 2020.
Patterson says he plans to seek treatment for the disease, even though it has a low survival rate
“There’s an 11% chance that we who have it walk away,” he explains. “I intend to be part of that 11%, hopefully. That’s my reputation. I’m strong enough and committed enough to go into the fight and I want to finish it.”
After sharing his diagnosis, Patterson reflected on his time as an elected official.
“Everybody in this room has heard me brag about Oakland,” he recalls, “but I mean everything I say. It’s a beautiful county. The citizens, we have this special relationship. They know who I am, I know who they are. And I think I’ve tried to give them exactly what they want and I think it shows in the election returns.”
L. Brooks Patterson has served as Oakland County Executive since 1993. Prior to that, he worked as Oakland County Prosecutor from 1973 to 1988.