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Mayor Rob Ford's fate up in air after tumour discovered

By Don Peat, Shawn Jeffords, QMIAgency

Doug Ford arrives at hospital on Thursday Sept. 11, 2014, to visit his brother Mayor Rob Ford. (DAVE THOMAS/Toronto Sun)

Doug Ford arrives at hospital on Thursday Sept. 11, 2014, to visit his brother Mayor Rob Ford. (DAVE THOMAS/Toronto Sun)

TORONTO - 

Mayor Rob Ford's personal and political fate remains up in the air Thursday.

Ford - who is the midst of the last weeks of his re-election bid - remains in Humber River Hospital as doctors investigate a tumour discovered a day earlier when he was admitted to hospital suffering from abdominal pain.

So far Thursday there was no update on whether the tumour was benign or malignant.

Renata Ford, the mayor's wife, and Councillor Doug Ford, the mayor's brother, were spotted visiting the hospital early Thursday morning.

Doug Ford admitted he didn't sleep overnight but said the mayor is "keeping in good spirits."

At the hospital, Ford supporter Claudio Peluso approached Doug Ford as he walked by, fist bumping him. Peluso said the mayor's health has to be his top priority now.

“I was shocked,” he said on hearing news of Ford's health troubles. “It put things in perspective. The elections are one thing but his health is more important.”

Peluso said this latest development will have a major impact on the vote.

“I voted for him last time. I will definitely vote for him again this time. I think he's done a pretty good job. I have no confidence in Mr. Tory or Ms. Chow," he said.

Amin Massoudi, the mayor's press secretary, stressed that the mayor's office is continuing "business as usual."

"I don't have any updates right now on the mayor or his condition," Massoudi told reporters at City Hall. "We are carrying on business as usual - we're dealing with constituents that are calling us and helping the Toronto residents and doing the work of the mayor's office."

"I just want to reiterate the request from the mayor's family for some privacy from the media at this time. Again, that's very important they've asked repeatedly for some privacy right now at this difficult time."

Massoudi thanked residents for an "outpouring of support" that the mayor has been receiving since the news of the tumour became public on Wednesday night.

"There has been a lot of calls coming in of support and we've been very grateful for that," he said.

Councillor Joe Mihevc said Ford's hospitalization is a "shocker for us all."

"All of us in Toronto our prayers are with him on a personal level - it is a time to separate the political from the personal and really focus on the personal," Mihevc said. "My prayers are with him, my best wishes are with him. Hopefully this is benign and that he can get back on the campaign trail.

"We want to have that public debate about whether we want 'Ford more years' or not and he needs to be a part of it."

Councillor Gary Crawford said his thoughts and prayers go out to the mayor and his family.

"I'm hoping the best outcome comes out of this," Crawford said.

At a mayoral candidates breakfast hosted by the Toronto Area Interfaith council on Thursday morning, Ford's election rivals Olivia Chow and John Tory called on residents to offer their prayers for the mayor's health.

"We want to collectively wish him strength in these days ahead," Chow told the crowd.

"We want him to be back out here as soon as he can and that we pray for his speedy recovery."

Tory echoed Chow sentiment.

"People do often forget we're human beings who confront all these things as others do but we have to confront them in a very public way," Tory said.

"We want him to be back at these debating tables with us because as much as it may seem sometimes as if we're sort of in combat with one another, I think we all share a love for this city."


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