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Hempstead councilwoman Erin King Sweeney announces cancer diagnosis

She underwent successful surgery and said continued treatment would not stop her from serving on the board or running for re-election.

Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, seen here in October

Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, seen here in October 2017, said her cancer diagnosis shows the importance of annual mammograms and she wants to reach out to women who may not have access to health care.   Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Hempstead Town Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney announced Tuesday she was diagnosed with breast cancer and plans to continue to serve in office.

King Sweeney, 45, of Wantagh, said she was diagnosed during the first week of December. She underwent a successful lumpectomy Jan. 17 at NYU Langone Health in Manhattan and is slated to undergo three weeks of radiation therapy starting next month, she said.

“I consider myself extremely fortunate — I am living proof that routine mammograms do make all the difference,” King Sweeney said during Tuesday’s town board meeting. “Luckily the cancer was caught very early and I will make a full recovery.”

King Sweeney said she had low risk factors for breast cancer, but said her diagnosis shows the importance of annual mammograms.

She said she wants to focus on outreach to minority women who may not have access to health care. She said she will push for greater research into the cause of high rates of cancer on Long Island, and toxins in the environment and drinking water.

King Sweeney, who serves as the Hempstead Republican Majority Leader, said the diagnosis would not stop her from serving on the town board and plans to run for re-election for a four-year term in November.

“I tend to face things head on. I am not ashamed of this challenge and will certainly not shy away from it,” she said. “If I am fortunate to receive the nomination by my party to run for re-election this November, I will enthusiastically accept it.”

She was first elected to the town board in 2015 after being appointed in January of that year. King Sweeney represents the town’s 5th district, including Lido Beach, Point Lookout and parts of Baldwin, Bellmore, Merrick, Seaford and Wantagh.

King Sweeney thanked her husband for his support and her father, Rep. Pete King (R-Seaford), who she said is an advocate for women’s health care.

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