Wellington City Councillor, Sean Rush, is taking leave from Council duties to receive cancer treatment until mid-June, Council announced today.
“After a medical examination for an unrelated matter, Sean’s medical team picked up the early signs of bowel cancer in March this year. He showed no symptoms at the time and continues to be symptom free,” the Council said in a statement.
The early diagnosis means Cr Rush expects to be back at work in mid-June.
“I’m very lucky. I feel fit and well, and it’s a miracle it got picked up,” he said.
“I’m listening to the medical professionals and, on their advice, I will take time out to focus on treatment and recovery.
“I don’t always do as I’m told, but yep – this time I am, 100 percent!” he said.
During his leave, Cr Rush’s role as Chair of the Council’s Infrastructure Committee will be filled by his deputy, Cr Jenny Condie.
Cr Rush is also vacating his appointments on external trusts and committees to focus on his treatment, including the Basin Reserve Trust, Sky Stadium Trust and Wellington Water Committee. His replacement in these positions will be subject to a further announcement.
Mayor Andy Foster wished Cr Rush all the best for the treatment and a speedy recovery, noting that the most important thing is that he focusses on his health and family right now.
“Sean is a valued member of the Council, and we look forward to seeing him resume his rightful place around the decision-making table when he is ready,” he said.
Deputy Mayor, Sarah Free said taking time off was both sensible and appropriate.
“I have appreciated Sean’s input as a councillor and as a Ward colleague, however it is understandable where his focus must be at this time.
“Our thoughts are very much with him and his family as he begins treatment.
Cr Rush said he was thankful for the support shown by his council colleagues.
“I’ll knock this off and be back to finish the triennium. In the meantime, I request privacy for me and my family so I can give this treatment its best shot.”