On Sunday, former President Jimmy Carter announced that he's cancer free, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Carter, who is 91, was reportedly teaching a Sunday school class at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia, when he said doctors told him recently that his cancer was gone. In August, Carter announced that his melanoma had spread to his liver and his brain, according to NPR. He cut back on his public appearance schedule dramatically to begin radiation therapy.
Jill Stuckey told the Journal-Constitution that she was at the church when Carter made the announcement to about 350 people. "He said he got a scan this week and the cancer was gone. The church, everybody here, just erupted in applause.” Carter’s grandson, James Carter, confirmed the news to the Journal-Constitution: "There’s no cancer in his body at this point. He’s not going to stop doing the treatment, but at this point, there’s no cancer. It’s incredible news," James Carter said. "See? I knew he wasn’t really human."
The Carter Center, a human rights organization that Carter founded, later released a statement on Carter's behalf, according to NBC News: "My most recent MRI brain scan did not reveal any signs of the original cancer spots nor any new ones," Carter's statement said. "I will continue to receive regular 3-week immunotherapy treatments of pembrolizumab."
James Carter's adorable joke about his grandfather's superhuman quality carried over onto social media Sunday, with some people joking about Carter's "immortality" and others saying it's not surprising that Carter would beat cancer. In addition to the radiation therapy, Carter also underwent drug treatments and a surgery that removed 10 percent of his liver, according to the Journal-Constitution. But none of that stopped him from carrying out most of his usual activities. Three days after Carter made the statement that his cancer had spread, he was back teaching his normal Sunday school classes. Last month, at a Habitat for Humanity build in Memphis, Carter said he had completed his round of four treatments and felt good, according to the Journal-Constitution.
After the applause died down in the Maranatha Baptist Church Sunday, Carter thanked everyone for their support, according to NBC News. "So I have good news. So a lot of people prayed for me, and I appreciate that," Carter said.
After his initial announcement in August, Carter stunned and inspired many with his calm, content response. Carter said that he thought about the fact that he could have just a few weeks left, but he wasn't frightened. Should he have faced death, he said he would be "looking forward to a new adventure," according to National Journal:
I've had a wonderful life. I have got thousands of friends and I have had an exciting and adventurous and gratifying existence, so I was surprisingly at ease. ... But now I feel, you know, it's in the hands of God and my worship and I'll be prepared for it when it comes. ... I'm ready for anything.
Just after the announcement, Carter also stepped down as chair of the Carter Center. Another of his grandsons and former Georgia state Sen. Jason Carter took over the position. Carter had said he would have to step back from his duties at the Carter Center, but Jason Carter joked Sunday that "there’s been no evidence of that at all," according to the Journal-Constitution.
Human or not, for the time being Carter obviously still has too much to accomplish to start a new adventure.