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Brain Cancer Health Center

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Sen. Ted Kennedy Dies of Brain Cancer

Kennedy, 77, Was Diagnosed With Brain Cancer in May 2008

Kennedy's Brain Cancer

Kennedy's doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital announced his brain cancer diagnosis on May 20, 2008.

Kennedy left Massachusetts General Hospital for his home on Cape Cod, Mass., on May 21, 2008.

In June 2008, Kennedy underwent successful brain surgery at Duke University Medical Center and returned home to Massachusetts, where he got chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Last Cause: Health Care Reform

Kennedy, a U.S. senator since 1962, returned to the Senate on July 9, 2008, for a vote on Medicare. "I wanted to be here," Kennedy said in a statement. "I wasn't going to take the chance that my vote could make a difference."

In 2009, Kennedy pressed for health care reform while continuing his brain cancer treatment. In June 2009, Kennedy, who served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, released the "Affordable Health Choices Act."

Kennedy was honored and gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August 2008. In that speech, he said "the torch will be passed to a new generation of Americans" in the 2008 presidential election. "The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on."

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