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Beau Biden awaits cancer results

9:16 AM, Aug 21, 2013   |    comments
Photo by the Associated Press
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WILMINGTON, Del. -- Hours before Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden visited a renowned cancer hospital in Houston for tests on Tuesday, he shared a moment with his wife and others at an Italian restaurant after dinner in the city.

"Touched by all your well wishes - thank you. Nice evening in Houston w/ Hallie; will share update when we have it," Biden wrote in a tweet that he sent Tuesday morning, along with a photo of he and his wife, to thousands of supporters.

Biden, 44, spent part of his day Tuesday at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, a source close to the attorney general said.

The second-term Democrat had suffered a mild stroke more than three years ago and last week became "weak and disoriented" after driving to Indiana for a family vacation, triggering visits to hospitals in Chicago, Philadelphia and now Texas, his spokesman said.

Biden's father, Vice President Joe Biden, was in Houston on Tuesday with "no public events scheduled," according to his office. Biden also was with his oldest son in Houston on Monday, the White House said in a statement.

The Anderson teaching hospital has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the nation's best hospital for cancer treatment the past seven years.

Jason P. Miller, Beau Biden's spokesman, said Tuesday he could not confirm that his boss was being treated at Anderson.

"We have no additional information to provide,'' Miller said. "We have no update on his status or condition.''

On Monday night, though, Biden seemed "fit as a fiddle" when he ate dinner with his wife, father, stepmother and several other people, including Secret Service agents, at D'Amico's Italian Market Café in Houston, owner Nash D'Amico said Tuesday.

"He was friendly and healthy and hungry," D'Amico said. Beau snapped a picture of D'Amico and the vice president, and posed for one as well, he said.

D'Amico said he asked Beau Biden why he was in town, and he replied that he was in Houston for "some testing."

D'Amico said he hopes Biden's condition isn't serious. "All we can do is pray for him," the restaurateur said.

Previous stroke

On May 12, 2010, Beau Biden was rushed to Christiana Hospital after complaining of a headache, numbness and paralysis. He was transferred to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and kept for observation until May 18, 2010.

He soon returned to the Office of the Attorney General, a post to which he was elected in 2006. He was re-elected to a second four-year term in 2010. He has been raising money and is expected to seek re-election in 2014.

Earlier this month, rescue crews were sent to Joe Biden's house in Greenville to respond to a report of a "possible stroke," according to a dispatch on a police scanner that night. While reports related to the call did not identify Beau Biden as the source of the emergency, the dispatch was recorded at 9:25 p.m. on Aug. 1.

Cranston Heights sent a basic life support unit and New Castle County sent a paramedic unit and a supervisor to Joe Biden's house, but the call was soon canceled, a fire company official said that night, declining to be identified.

Beau Biden's current medical problems were not made public until Monday night, when Miller issued a brief statement that said his boss had become "weak and disoriented following a long drive to Indiana for a family vacation." The White House also issued a statement Monday night, saying that "Beau is being evaluated to determine the cause of an episode of disorientation and weakness that he experienced."

After falling ill Wednesday, Biden was admitted to the Northwestern University Hospital in Chicago, Miller's statement said. On Thursday morning, he was "feeling better" and consulted with his doctor at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia about his earlier symptoms, Miller said. Biden was discharged and spent the weekend at home.

Miller also said Biden had spoken by phone to Chief Deputy Attorney General Ian McConnel over the weekend and had been in touch with his office Monday evening.

On Sunday, Biden tweeted a picture showing himself sitting by his father as they talked by phone with members of the Newark National Little League team about their trip to the Little League World Series.

With Biden still in Texas, one organizer of his $100-per-person fundraiser scheduled for tonight at the Lewes Yacht Club said he did not know whether the attorney general would attend.

Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf, who is on the host committee for the event, said he has not been given any official word.

Biden campaign staffer Molly Magarik would not comment.

USA TODAY

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