Virginia Democrat Announces Plan To Retire From Congress After ‘Parkinson’s On Steroids’ Diagnosis

Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) announced on Monday that she will not seek re-election next year after being diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder that affects body movements.

Wexton, who is 55 and represents a Northern Virginia district, said she decided to settle on retiring from Congress at the end of her current term upon receiving a troubling health update several months after the congresswoman revealed that she had Parkinson’s disease.

Over the course of treatments and medical evaluations, doctors gave a “modified” diagnosis of Progressive Supra-nuclear Palsy, type-p (PSP-P), a form of Atypical Parkinsonism that is a kind of ‘Parkinson’s on steroids,'” Wexton explained in a statement.

“I’ve always believed that honesty is the most important value in public service, so I want to be honest with you now – this new diagnosis is a tough one. There is no ‘getting better’ with PSP. I’ll continue treatment options to manage my symptoms, but they don’t work as well with my condition as they do for Parkinson’s,” Wexton said.

“I’m heartbroken to have to give up something I have loved after so many years of serving my community,” the congresswoman added. “But taking into consideration the prognosis for my health over the coming years, I have made the decision not to seek reelection once my term is complete and instead spend my valued time with Andrew, our boys, and my friends and loved ones.”

Wexton, a former member of the Virginia state Senate, joined the House of Representatives after defeating incumbent Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) in the 2018 election.

Comstock joined with others in delivering prayers to Wexton and her family after the congresswoman announced her latest health situation on Monday.

“I am very saddened to hear of her continuing health challenges from this cruel disease and I know all those who share such tough diagnoses appreciate her advocacy and example at such a difficult time,” Comstock added in a post to X.

“When I made the decision to run for Congress, this was clearly not the way I anticipated it coming to a close — but then again, pretty much nothing about my time serving here has quite been typical or as expected,” Wexton said in her statement.

“I will forever cherish the people from our communities and all around the country I’ve come to know, the challenges we’ve faced together, and the ways both big and small that my team and I have made a difference in the lives of our neighbors,” she added. “While my time in Congress will soon come to a close, I’m just as confident and committed as ever to keep up the work that got me into this fight in the first place for my remaining time in office – to help build the future we want for our children. I am truly humbled by the trust Virginians have placed in me, and I look forward to continuing to serve the people of our district.”

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