Outpouring of support follows Rep. John Lewis' cancer diagnosis

The congressman announced he is fighting stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

As soon as Rep. John Lewis announced on Sunday he is fighting stage 4 pancreatic cancer a massive outpouring of support followed.

Lewis, 79, who has served in the House of Representatives since 1987, said he plans to fight the disease as he's fought throughout his life.

"I have been in some kind of fight -- for freedom, equality, basic human rights -- for nearly my entire life," he said in a statement. "I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now. This month in a routine medical visit, and subsequent tests, doctors discovered Stage IV pancreatic cancer."

"While I am clear-eyed about the prognosis, doctors have told me that recent medical advances have made this type of cancer treatable in many cases, that treatment options are no longer as debilitating as they once were, and that I have a fighting chance," he added.

The Georgia Democrat was a close friend of Martin Luther King Jr. and a leading member of the civil rights movement in his own right. He was among those beaten by police on the so-called "Bloody Sunday" while marching from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in March 1965.

Past presidents, current presidential candidates and celebrities were among many of those who immediately sent their best wishes to the politician.

Barack Obama, 44th president

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Pete Buttigieg, 2020 presidential candidate

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., 2020 presidential candidate

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., 2020 presidential candidate

Former Vice President Joe Biden, 2020 presidential candidate

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., 2020 presidential candidate

Former Attorney General Eric Holder

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., 2020 presidential candidate

Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr.

Stephen Colbert, host of "The Late Show"