Michigan State Rep. Andrea Schroeder has died at 57 after a long battle with stomach cancer.
Schroeder, a Republican representing Michigan’s 43rd District in Independence Township, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2018, shortly before her first election. She underwent several procedures throughout her terms to combat the illness and died on the afternoon of Oct. 1.
In a statement, House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell, issued a statement mourning the loss of his party’s Majority Whip that said, “Even in the worst days of her illness, Andrea Schroeder was a tireless and selfless friend who always put the needs of others before her own.”
“When we were all worried about her health and her comfort, she was more concerned about helping the people she represented who had called into the office, finding out what was going on in each of our lives, sharing the latest news about her children, working with the close staff for whom she cared so much, and helping everyone around her succeed with their own personal priorities," Wentworth said in the statement. "That's who she was as a person right from the start, and that is exactly how I will remember her."
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also issued a statement.
“I am saddened to learn of Rep. Andrea Schroeder's passing this afternoon after a courageous battle with cancer,” Whitmer said in the statement. “Rep. Schroeder will be remembered for her relentless dedication to the people she represented. My heart goes out to her husband and three children and all those who knew her as they grieve during this difficult time.”
Schroeder sponsored more than 20 bills in her nearly three years in office, including a bill that requires middle and high schools to include phone numbers for a 24-hour crisis and national suicide prevention hotline on their student identification cards. The bill received nearly unanimous support in the legislature.
“Cancer is a terrible disease and it doesn't spare good people like Rep. Schroeder, who was a tireless advocate for the people of her community," House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski, D-Scio Township, wrote in a statement. "She was passionate about the importance of public service, as she continued to do the people's work until her final days. She will be missed by all on both sides of the aisle, and we would like to extend our deepest condolences to her family."
Schroeder said at the time that her support of this measure was inspired by several tragic teenage suicides in her district.
“This initiative to connect young people with someone to listen and offer support when they need hope the most will help save lives and prevent tragedies," she said.
Schroeder’s seat will be filled via a special election that will be held with the next general election. The governor must call the special election to fill the vacancy.
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