Just before Christmas, some sad news came out of Georgia.
Greg Kirk, a Republican state senator, died last Sunday after a battle with cancer, according to the Associated Press. He was only 56 years old.
A bout with cancer
In June, Kirk revealed that he had been diagnosed with bile duct cancer, according to The Washington Post. This is a rare form of cancer that affects the liver and small intestine — particularly, their ability to digest the fats in food.
“The intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma that I’m battling is one of the most aggressive cancers there is,” Kirk said, according to WALB News in Georgia. “I’m a fighter, I’ve always been a fighter.”
Just before Kirk’s passing, he had to receive outpatient hospice care for his symptoms.
“It’s not one of my better days, it’s really not, so I want to be honest about that,” Kirk said at the time. “I’m a very sick man, but I’m not that sick and I’ve had highs and lows through this when it started in June.”
Unfortunately, a few days later, roughly six months after his diagnosis, Kirk passed away.
Kirk’s passing was confirmed by his own Senate chamber last Sunday. In a statement, the body described Kirk as “a man of outstanding character, and one who was a champion for doing what is right, [which] made him one of our most fervent leaders and also one of our most gracious.”
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kirk also served as a senior pastor at a local Americus church called Rehoboth Baptist Church. Reports indicate that he was also a licensed professional counselor.
According to state House Speaker David Ralston, Kirk “devoted his life to glorifying God and building up his community. He had a servant’s heart,” Ralston said, “and a compassionate spirit.”
Kirk had held his position in the Georgia state senate since 2014, when he was first voted into office. Over the course of those five years, Kirk represented Georgia’s 13th District, which encompasses a region in the southern part of the state.
Kirk is survived by his wife, Rosalyn, seven children, and five grandchildren, according to Fox 5 Atlanta. He will be missed by both his immediate family and the countless lives he has touched over the years.