Southfield (CBS Detroit) – If there’s one thing Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is known for it’s putting up a good fight. Heaven knows the 80-year-old Republican leader has been at the forefront of many political battles.
He’s determined to win his newest fight — one involving his health as Patterson appeared on MICHIGAN MATTERS with Senior Producer/Host Carol Cain in a conversation about his battle with stage four pancreatic cancer.
Patterson announced at a press conference last month he had the disease and would not run for re-election in 2020. He left after for a pre-planned vacation with his family for two weeks.
“When I came back, people were shocked when they saw me,” Patterson said .“They thought I was in hospice.”
Admittedly the odds are long (11 percent of people with stage 4 pancreatic cancer beat the disease) . Patterson said his doctor — Phillip Phillips (the same oncologist who treated Aretha Franklin) told Patterson that “a patient’s attitude is 75, 80, maybe 85 percent of the battle.”
“I asked him the question anyone would ask: how long do I have?” Patterson said.
Dr. Phillips told him only God has that answer.
“You mean Nancy Pelosi has my records?!” Patterson responded.
Getting chemotherapy every two weeks hasn’t been fun. “I get it on Wednesdays. My Thursdays are OK, sometimes Friday too but by Saturday it’s not so good.”
He’s continuing his job as county executive as his team steps up to fill in as needed.
“I don’t see me succumbing to this,” Patterson said.“If he can give me five to seven more years. I’d sign that contract right now.”
Ilitch on HBO Report:
Patterson appeared on the show’s roundtable with Denise Ilitch, CEO of Ilitch Enterprises, and Rod Alberts, Executive Director of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association.
Ilitch had some thoughts about HBO’s recent “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” which aired a critical report about her family (who own the Red Wings, Tigers and Little Caesars) and the building of Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The report mentioned housing and retail development that was also talked about when the project unveiled in 2014 .
HBO reported the residential/retail development has yet to come to fruition and reached out to the family for comment which they did not participate in.
Ilitch said the report left out the long term impact her family has had.
“My family has been here since 1987 and Woodward Avenue 2019 looks very different today,” she said. “This was a lost opportunity to talk about the amazing things going on in Detroit not only with what my family is doing but others. For example, there are four sports teams now downtown.”
Which begs the question: would she talk to Gumbel if he called?
Alberts, who is making plans for NAIAS 2020, said the transition from being held in January the past 40 years to June is offering unique interactive opportunities.
He was asked about the future of the Charity Preview, which has been a mainstay as the black tie gala raises millions for children’s charities. Could it become less formal and less expensive so more folks could attend?
Watch MICHIGAN MATTERS Sunday at 11:30am on CBS 62