Several well wishes came pouring in Wednesday after doctors revealed that he has been diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive cancer.
McCain was the GOP's presidential nominee in 2008. A Navy pilot, he was shot down over Vietnam in 1967 and held as a prisoner for 5 ½ years.
Meghan McCain, the 32-year-old daughter of McCain, shared a very personal and touching statement on her father's cancer diagnosis Wednesday.
The news of father's illness has affected every one of us in the McCain family. My grandmother, mother, brothers, sister, and I have all endured the shock of the news, and now we live with the anxiety about what comes next. It is an experience familiar to us, given my father's previous battle with cancer — and it is familiar to the countless American families whose loved ones are also stricken with the tragedy of disease and the inevitability of age. If we could ask anything of anyone now, it would be the prayers of those of you who understand this all too well. We would be so grateful for them.
It won't surprise you to learn that in all this the one of us who is most confident and calm is my father. He is the toughest person I know. The cruelest enemy could not break him. The aggressions of political life could not bend him. So he is meeting this challenge as he has every other. Cancer may afflict him in many ways: but it will not make him surrender. Nothing ever has.
My love for my father is boundless, and like any daughter I cannot and do wish to be in a world without him. I have faith that those days remain far away. Yet even in this moment, my fears for him are overwhelmed by one thing above all: gratitude for our years together, and the years still to come. He is a warrior at dusk, one of the greatest Americans of our age, and the worthy heir to his father's and grandfather's name. But to me he is something more. He is my strength, my example, my refuge, my confidante, my teacher, my rock, my hero — my dad.
President Donald Trump called McCain a "fighter" and wished him well:
"Senator John McCain has always been a fighter. Melania and I send our thoughts and prayers to Senator McCain, Cindy, and their entire family. Get well soon."
Former President Barack Obama tweeted him well wishes also:
"John McCain is an American hero & one of the bravest fighters I've ever known. Cancer doesn't know what it's up against. Give it hell, John."
John McCain is an American hero & one of the bravest fighters I've ever known. Cancer doesn't know what it's up against. Give it hell, John.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 20, 2017
Former President George H.W. Bush released the following statement:
"The Hanoi Hilton couldn't break John McCain's spirit many years ago, so Barbara and I know- with confidence- he and his family will meet this latest battle in his singular life of service with courage and determination."