Governor Kay Ivey cancer

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey holds a gift basket from students at Webb Elementary School in April during a visit to the school.

People in the public eye — sports standouts, rock stars, elected officials, and others of high-profile notoriety — often appear to the rest of us as larger than life, leaving us surprised when they’re touched by the sort of circumstances that can affect us all.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, who announced Thursday that she has a malignant lesion on her lung and that she will begin treatment today, is obviously aware of that. She announced her health challenge “because I always shoot straight with you,” she said in a message to Alabamians.

We commend her openness. In a time when privacy is heavily guarded and medical information is protected by federal HIPPA regulations, the governor could easily have kept her illness and treatment under wraps. Frankly, she’s under no obligation to share such news if her circumstances don’t interfere with her ability to do the people’s work.

However, being upfront about her health challenge goes a long way in maintaining the public trust, and her frank discussion about her diagnosis, treatment options and prognosis may well inspire others to have that checkup they’ve been putting off.

We wish Gov. Ivey well as she addresses this health issue, and she’ll likely keep the people of Alabama updated on her progress.

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