SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota (Reuters) - Former four-term South Dakota Governor Bill Janklow said on Friday he was dying from a “very far advanced” brain cancer and doctors have told him he does not have long to live.
Janklow, 72, who also served a brief stint in the House of Representatives before resigning in 2003 after a manslaughter conviction following a fatal car crash, said he first learned of the cancer a few weeks ago and planned to submit to experimental treatments.
“It’s a condition that is not treatable. It is throughout my brain,” Janklow told a news conference at his Sioux Falls, South Dakota, law office.
Janklow described himself as “as outspoken, opinionated and as strong-willed as anybody” during a 15-minute meeting with reporters. He was trying cases less than a month ago, and said he has seen doctors in Sioux Falls and at the Mayo Clinic.
Elected as state attorney general in 1975 and to his first term as governor four years later, Janklow lured the credit card business of Citibank to South Dakota 30 years ago, driving a financial services boom for what was then a mainly farming state.
Janklow said he would return to the Mayo Clinic on Monday, but there was a less than 50 percent chance treatments would lead to any improvement.
“I know it is over, I know I am at the end of the trail, but I don’t hurt,” Janklow said.
Janklow said he wasn’t feeling well, but initial tests had not revealed a problem. Additional tests were conducted and a brain scan in Sioux Falls turned up an “expansive” cancer, he said.
Janklow expressed regret about the accident that killed Minnesota motorcyclist Randy Scott eight years ago. He ran a stop sign and collided with Scott’s motorcycle. Convicted of manslaughter, Janklow served 100 days in prison.
“I gave a damn about what I did,” he said. “If I had it to do over I would do everything I did except I would stop at a stop sign.”
Additional reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston