Mike Fox nearly died in December. Now, the well-known local lawmaker will have a kidney removed.

Mike Fox this week will undergo a life-threatening surgery, just two months after he nearly lost his life when he suffered a congestive heart failure.

Fox will have a cancerous left kidney removed. He believes the tumor been growing since 2016 but never diagnosed as cancerous until last month by doctors at McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital in Oxford. A 3-centimeter cancerous tumor was found.

RELATED: Mike Fox’s ‘simple’ choice: ‘I either lose this weight or I lose my life’

He said the diagnosis was “pretty sobering” and “a surprise on top of the other stuff.”

“It’s not like I had enough problems,” said Fox in an exclusive interview with this news organization. “After having gone through all the stuff I went through … my whole system is pretty weak. We just hope my body is strong enough to get me through it.”

Fox is infamous in Butler County. He served longer in the Statehouse, 23 years, than any other Butler County lawmaker and was also a former county commissioner. He also later served four years in prison for wire fraud and filing a false tax return.

And now, he and his family are putting their faith in God, he said.

“You put it all in God’s hands, and that’s all you can do,” Fox said. “I just pray that he lets me hang around for a little longer.”

There have been many well-wishers posting thoughts and prayers for Fox, including Butler County Democratic Party’s Central Committee Chair Suzi Rubin.

Fox told this news organization last month that he nearly died because he relied on food to relieve the stress, which only increased when the FBI began to investigate him for his role in Butler County entering into fiber optics.

RELATED: Michael Fox talks about his ‘humbling’ prison sentence (December 2015)

Fox, already a big man, gained more than 100 pounds.

“When the FBI came calling, I went into a total crash,” he said. “I became a total hermit, and eating was my comfort.”

Fox was hospitalized on Dec. 2 after he collapsed in his home and stayed in a pair of hospitals — McCullough-Hyde and Bethesda North in Hamilton County — until Dec. 18. He doesn’t remember most of that time as he suffered congestive heart failure when in the hospital.

It was all because of his insatiable appetite, which caused him to say, “I almost ate myself to death.”

“You think you’re bulletproof until something like this happens,” he said. “Basically, my body was shutting down. It was by the grace of God, that’s the only way to explain it. God gave me my life back.”


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