Statement by Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis) released the following statement today:

“Since my ovarian cancer surgery last month, I have been following my doctors’ advice, recovering at home, and working remotely on Senate business each day. Thank you to everyone who has reached out with kind notes of encouragement. Your notes brighten my day.  

There is never a good time to get cancer, but since my surgery, I am attempting to make the best of it. I’ve kept a sense of humor and remain optimistic. I am also taking seriously my medical team’s advice about when to physically return to the Capitol.   

The surgery to remove the cancerous tumor was a major surgery that lasted over 5 hours and included a hysterectomy, splenectomy, and appendectomy. Because my spleen was removed, I received vaccines to help with my immunity. Cutting through my abdominal muscles has reminded me how much we use those muscles to sit, walk, and even laugh. I’m not on strong painkillers but am still taking Tylenol occasionally.  

Since my operation, I am continuing to read emails, take phone calls, and stay in touch with Senate President Bobby Joe Champion, Minority Leader Johnson, the six assistant DFL leaders, DFL leadership staff, and many others on a regular basis to lead and work through issues and questions as they arise. I watch many committee hearings and all Senate floor sessions remotely, and I report my floor votes to an assistant DFL leader to have them recorded. I also negotiate issues with Speaker Hortman and the Governor’s Office on a regular basis.   

Although I would much rather be physically at the Capitol every day, I am very grateful to be able to work with my colleagues and lead the Senate DFL Caucus with help from a dedicated team. We all depend on others to succeed at our job, and I am very appreciative of everyone who has stepped up to help me through this unforeseen experience. 

I urge all Minnesotans to prioritize preventative care and continue to get regular wellness checkups. Schedule your appointments for pap smears, mammograms, colonoscopies, and other tests. Early detection is key. I’m very grateful for the help I’ve received in the past several weeks. I look forward to returning to the Capitol as soon as possible.   

As I mentioned before, you never know what challenges people are experiencing. Kindness and a smile can go a long way.” 


Senator Kari Dziedzic
Kari Dziedzic represents District 60, which includes Seward, Cedar Riverside, Southeast and Northeast Minneapolis.

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