A state lawmaker who has repeatedly attracted national attention announced to a legislative committee Tuesday he has an incurable form of cancer.
Rep. Curry Todd, a Collierville Republican, revealed his condition during a House Commerce Committee meeting Tuesday while arguing for HB1087, a proposal requiring insurance companies to pay for oral chemotherapy treatments.
“This is not about me. This is about helping those other cancer patients out there, and that’s what I’m about,” he told reporters in a press conference, saying he has known about his disease for four years and added it is incurable. He said he does not yet require treatment for his cancer, specifically called macroglobulinemia.
Todd said he announced his condition, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, in an effort to help people would would benefit from the bill if it were to become law. The measure is getting pushback from the insurance industry, which sees the measure as a government mandate. The measure will get picked up again in the committee Tuesday, April 10.
The representative found himself in the national spotlight repeatedly over the last few years, most recently for his DUI arrest in Nashville last October, which also included charges of possession of a gun while intoxicated and refusing a Breathalyzer test. Todd was the sponsor of legislation years before to allow gun carry permit holders to bring their guns with them into bars so long as they abstained from drinking.
Todd also drew attention to himself in 2010 when he likened pregnant women in the country illegally to “rats.”
The representative declined to comment on how his condition would affect his pending DUI charge in court, saying the question was “inappropriate.” He said he planned to seek reelection.