Politics & Government

Modesto Councilwoman Kenoyer announces she has lung cancer

Modesto City Council member Jenny Kenoyer waves to spectators along Needham Street during the 2017 Veterans Day Parade in Modesto. She announced Tuesday that she has been diagnosed with lung cancer.
Modesto City Council member Jenny Kenoyer waves to spectators along Needham Street during the 2017 Veterans Day Parade in Modesto. She announced Tuesday that she has been diagnosed with lung cancer. aalfaro@modbee.com

Modesto City Councilwoman Jenny Kenoyer has announced that she has been diagnosed with lung cancer and expects to know her course of treatment within a couple of weeks.

Kenoyer, 83, made her announcement at the end of Tuesday’s council meeting. She said that as an elected official, she has a duty to inform the public of anything that would affect her ability to serve, but she vowed to fight the cancer.

“Don’t start looking for somebody to replace me,” she said at the meeting. “I will be here for the end of my term. I do ask you for your prayers.”

The five other council members there offered their support. (Councilman Bill Zoslocki was not at the meeting.) “I pity the cancer ... I don’t think it has a chance,” said Councilman Mani Grewal, alluding to Kenoyer’s outspokenness, spirit and pluck.

Councilman Tony Madrigal said: “Council member Kenoyer, you are in my thoughts and prayers. You are one of the toughest people I know. And I don’t think you are going anywhere, anytime soon.”

Kenoyer was elected to her second and final four-year term in November 2017.

She said in an interview that about a month ago, a friend gave her a bear hug at a luncheon, and she felt something pop in her chest. The pain persisted, and Kenoyer thought she had a broken rib and went to the emergency room a couple of days later. She said a CT scan found a small mass, and a biopsy confirmed it was cancer.

Kenoyer said she got the biopsy results about two weeks ago and will undergo tests to determine whether the cancer has spread to the bone and her course of treatment.

Kenoyer — who is a retired registered nurse — said she had smoked for 24 years but quit 45 years ago. She is an avid walker and said she feels great.

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