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Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst again being treated for cancer

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Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst (Undated file photo via Washington State Supreme Court Website)

SEATTLE — Washington Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst said Wednesday she is being treated for cancer, five years after describing the outcome of her previous bout as a miracle.

She made the announcement toward the end of her State of the Judiciary address to the Washington Legislature in Olympia.

She intends to continue working. “I still believe in miracles,” she said.

Fairhurst, who first was elected in 2002, was diagnosed with colon cancer in late 2008. Doctors said three years later that it had spread to her lung and she was cancer-free by 2014.

In a statement, the court said she was diagnosed with colon cancer late last year. Fairhurst has responded well to treatment, but the cancer has reappeared in her lungs and liver, the statement said. She began chemotherapy this month, and does not expect to miss court except for medical appointments.

Fairhurst, 61, was elected chief justice by her colleagues in 2016.

“You have all of our love, all of our prayers,” said Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib.

Fairhurst praised the cooperation between the Legislature and the judiciary. She said one of the court’s priorities is obtaining more money for court interpreters. The number of languages spoken in Washington’s courts has jumped 30 percent, while funding for interpreters has remained flat since 2008, she said.

Other priorities include more training for judges and assembling a task force to examine courthouse security, she said.

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