By any measure, Hamilton Jordan has had a full life: chief of staff to President Jimmy Carter; co-founder with his wife, Dorothy, of a camp for kids with cancer and a partner with former U.N Ambassador Andrew Young in a firm aiding South African business ventures.
But there also has been a dark side. In 1985, Jordan was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Ten years later, he learned he had prostate cancer. Then came a skin cancer.
"It was a little one, but I still count it. That's three cancers by age 50. I'm lucky to be alive," said Jordan, now 53.
Saturday, the man who helped an obscure Georgia governor and peanut farmer win the White House was in Vienna, Va., telling his story to the Lymphoma Research Foundation of America.
Jordan knows all about federal funding. While the CIA got $23 billion for "spying on people," he told the Source, the Federal Aviation Administration got $9 billion "so we can fly safely," and cancer got "about $2 billion for research on a disease that will strike 40 percent of the people in this country."
"All the cancer groups should get together. They could do a lot more. But that's a hard thing to sell to groups that have their own staff and agenda," said Jordan.