Karen Lewis is undergoing brain surgery Wednesday in Chicago, those close to the Chicago Teachers Union president told NBC 5.
Lewis has told friends, "the cancer is back," sources said. They said her surgery was scheduled for noon Wednesday.
According to CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said in a statement Lewis advised him Tuesday of the "medical procedure" and he had planned on updating the union during Wednesday night's House of Delegates meeting.
"As we all know, Karen is a fighter," he wrote.
He added that her message to him Tuesday was to "Tell our delegates, let's get ready to fight!"
Lewis was first diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer, in 2015 as she was considering a run for Chicago mayor. Late last year, Lewis revealed she suffered a stroke in November.
"I woke up, couldn't move my left leg, my left hand," she told NBC 5 from the hospital at the time.
Lewis said in November she had no speech issues following the stroke and planned to use physical therapy to regain movement on her left side.
She spoke publicly in February, for the first time since her stroke, to record a campaign radio ad for Brandon Johnson, who ran in the Democratic primary against Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin and won.
She recently took a medical leave to work on stroke rehabilitation.
“While we have sat on opposite sides of the negotiating table, I have been proud to call Karen Lewis a dear friend and close confidante," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. "Karen has faced her health challenges with the same fearlessness, tenacity and resolve that have made her a legendary labor leader and earned her the respect of Chicagoans and educators around the world. I join residents across Chicago in wishing Karen Lewis a full and speedy recovery.”
A source with knowledge of the recent situation says, "in the course of this disease, any re-occurrence that requires intervention is very common."