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Mecklenburg commissioner Neil Cooksey, who has battled pancreatic cancer in recent years, announced Friday he was discontinuing treatment and entering hospice.

In a statement sent by a family friend, Cooksey said treatments to clear blockages in his intestinal system and prevent bleeding have been ineffective so far.

Cooksey, 50, was diagnosed with cancer in early 2010. He later announced that he was cancer-free, though he told the Observer recently he was diagnosed with an ailment several months ago that hurt his body s ability to take in nutrients. He underwent surgery in mid-June.

Cooksey has decided to enter hospice care, and his prognosis for a full recovery is doubtful, said the statement sent Friday by family friend Tim Rogers. The statement asked the public to keep Cooksey and his family in their thoughts and prayers.

Cooksey, a Republican, has served as a county commissioner since 2008, and is the final months of his second term. While on the board he pushed for bring common-sense solutions to county government, including calling on the county to hire an ethics officer amid a 2009 probe into its social services department. The board later approved a compliance officer position.

Cooksey decided not to seek re-election this year citing, in part, a desire to spend more time with his family and his job.

It has been my honor and privilege to serve the people of Mecklenburg County these past few years, Cooksey said in a statement Friday, and I hope to continue my service as long as physically possible .

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