WATCH: Mount Sinai’s Dr. Zane Cohen discusses Rob Ford’s cancer diagnosis
TORONTO – Doctors are set to provide an update on Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s health today, a full week after he was diagnosed with an abdominal tumour.
The news conference is expected to take place at the city’s Mount Sinai Hospital, where Ford has been undergoing tests to determine the exact nature of his tumour.
Doug Ford visited his brother at hospital around 3 p.m. Wednesday but refused to answer questions from reporters saying only it has been “a tough day.”
Speculation about the seriousness of the controversial mayor’s condition has been mounting ever since it was announced last week that doctors had discovered a fair-sized tumour when the politician sought treatment for “unbearable” abdominal pain.
The 45-year-old Ford — who has turned into an international celebrity due to a series of scandals — dropped out of the city’s mayoral race days later, with his older brother taking his place.
Coun. Doug Ford says the past few days have been “extremely tough” for the family.
But he says his brother has been “strong” and is grateful for the support he has received.
Follow live at 4:45 p.m.: Global News reporters will be live tweeting about the mayor’s health update
And the mayor has received support from former opponents Olivia Chow and John Tory who are both wishing the mayor recovers quickly.
“I can’t imagine how difficult it is for the Ford family so my hearts go out to them and I hope that the news that they have gives them some strength that they can move ahead,” Chow told reporters Wednesday morning. “I called Doug Ford, I didn’t want to call Rob Ford, I called Doug and said ‘can you pass my prayers and thoughts to Rob and his family because I know how difficult it is.’”
John Tory too said he hopes the mayor is “back on his feet soon” and suggested he would talk with Chow about cancelling a debate at 6 p.m. in the wake of the update on Ford’s health.
“I’m going to speak directly with Ms. Chow and ask her, if we can take the politics out of this and just ask as two human beings what we think the right thing to do is,” Tory said.
Rob Ford is still running for councillor in the west Toronto ward he represented a decade before he was elected mayor in 2010.
His tumour diagnosis came just over two months after he returned to office following a self-imposed stint in rehab for substance abuse issues.
Ford’s role as mayor has been largely symbolic ever since last November, when he was stripped of most of his powers following his admissions of alcohol abuse and drug use during “drunken stupors.”
Those admissions came after months of denials and were followed by the surfacing of videos which appeared to show the mayor making offensive and profane comments.
The mayor has apologized to those hurt by his words and actions, saying he regretted some of his past choices but said he blamed no one but himself for his misconduct.