Berman embarks on a battle with cancer; friends say he is a figh - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Berman embarks on a battle with cancer; friends say he is a fighter

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

East Texas State Representative Leo Berman is still in the hospital tonight after being diagnosed with cancer.

His wife, Lou Ann, tells us the cancer is treatable and he is already doing better than he was just a few days ago. Berman's friends say this illness has nothing on this strong willed and decorated veteran.

Those who know Berman best say after 22 years of service in the United States Army, this retired lieutenant colonel is fully prepared to fight the battle he has ahead of him.

"Knowing Leo for so many years, I know that he is somebody that doesn't let anything stand in his way and fights through every obstacle," says Berman's friend Rohn Boone.

Just a week ago Berman was speaking at a luncheon in Tyler. Thursday, he was diagnosed with cancer. Since then, family members say the outpouring of support in East Texas has been overwhelming.

"We love him and he can overcome this," says Boone.

"Leo is one of the most positive spirits and positive souls that I've ever met, and that's what makes him very special," says Skip Ogle.

Ogle says he has known Berman for more than a decade and there isn't a doubt in his mind that Berman will be fine.

"I visited with Leo just a couple of days ago and, typical Leo, he's just as positive and bright as ever," says Ogle.

Matt Schaefer, the opponent running for Berman's District 6 seat this fall, says he sends the representative warm wishes, and prayers.

Schaefer says, "Life itself is more important than politics. My wife and I will continue to pray for Representative Berman and his family. I truly hope he recovers fully."

"He's ready to fight and I think this is a blip in the road for Leo," says Ogle.

It's a road that many say they'll walk alongside him.

Representative Berman's wife, Lou Ann, tells us all they need right now are prayers. She says they'll keep East Texas updated throughout Berman's treatment and recovery.

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