The "Lion of the Senate" will return to his pride.
Edward Kennedy's Democratic colleagues, as well as his friends and family said the Massachusetts Senator's health has improved and he will return to Washington after the Memorial Day recess to lead a fight for health care reform.
The 77-year-old, who is known as the "Lion of the Senate," has suffered from brain cancer for the past year and has spent much of his time seeking treatment in Florida, but those close to the Senator have called him "robust" in recent days.
Since his diagnosis last May, Kennedy has returned to Washington for a few significant events. He attended Barack Obama's inauguration, where he suffered a seizure. He also was present for votes on Obama's stimulus package, and later, a national service bill named in Kennedy's honor. But signs point to Kennedy coming back full-time after the Memorial Day recess.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that he had spoken to Kennedy's wife, Vicki, who said that Kennedy was "doing fine."
Kennedy's family members echoed that news. His father-in-law, Edmund Reggie said that he spent Saturday night in Hyannisport with Kennedy and Vicki and that the 77-year-old is looking "robust."
“I’m not going to get into giving medical advice, but we spent the night with him and Vicki on the Cape. He was in great shape,” Reggie told the Boston Herald. “He was in very good shape, very good condition.”
Upon his return, Kennedy is expected to lead the fight for health care reform as chair of the Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee. Another friend, Phil Johnston predicted that his presence will give the legislation a boost.
“He’s doing well and he’s very engaged on this issue,” said longtime friend Phil Johnston. “His personal presence in the Senate will be very important on making this legislation reality.”
Other Senators on the committee told the Hill newspaper they were also looking forward to welcoming Kennedy back to Senate chambers in June.