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Jefferson County manager Tony Petelos battling cancer, taking a leave of absence

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL - Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos announced Thursday that he is battling cancer. 

He declined to announce what form of cancer he is fighting. He will take a leave of absence in while undergoing treatment, which he says could last three weeks or more.

Petelos says he recently found out he had cancer prior to his yearly check-up, which was scheduled for next week. He will take a leave of absence next month, and says the treatment could take three weeks or longer.

Petelos said yesterday, he was a basket case, but that didn't seem to be the case today.

"I slept good last night, I didn't the night before but I slept good last night and I'm ready to take on this challenge and ready to take on this new journey," he said.

He informed his colleagues at the courthouse of his diagnosis yesterday.

"They tell me, 'Quit worrying about this place and go take care of yourself,'" he said.

After he informed the commissioners, petelos went home for the day. Through his high spirits, he came to work this morning.

 "I was born and raised in this community and I took this job because I love Jefferson County," Petelos said. 

Jefferson County Commissioner Sandra Brown and Commission President David Carrington have both dealt with cancer, and their colleague's announcement hit close to home. 

 "I was swelled up with tears and I'm full now. But I got to help him beat it. I'm going to be with him all the way," Brown said. 

 "We assured him that we would pray for him and we told him we would support him when ever he would make it public," Carrington added. 

Petelos asks everyone to keep him in their prayers.

Petelos was hired by the  Jefferson County Commission as the county manager back in  2011. He previously served as mayor of Hoover.

The deputy county manager will fill the spot until Petelos returns from leave.The county was also in the process of hiring another deputy county manager, and that person is also expected to help during Petelos' absense.
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