Native Sun News: Activist Russell Means hospitalized in Arizona

The following story was written and reported by Native Sun Staff. All content © Native Sun News.

Means hospitalized in Arizona
By Native Sun News Staff

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Russell Means has been admitted to a hospital in his seasonal hometown of Scottsdale.

The American Indian Movement co-founder and actor was hospitalized last week, when he announced that his esophageal cancer was no longer in remission. The 72-year-old said he learned he has “new cancer spots” on Aug. 20.

Prior to the Aug. 20 diagnosis, Means, who is Oglala Lakota, had kept his throat cancer at bay since December of last year, saying at the time that he was cancer-free.

Initially diagnosed with esophageal cancer during the summer of 2011, he opted to forgo the conventional Western medicine methods of chemotherapy and radiation to treat his cancer, and instead chose to fight it using methods more attuned to his Lakota spirituality, including prayer.

Sources close to Means and his wife, Pearl, who is originally from the Scottsdale area, say his lungs are failing and he is in “terminal condition.”

Means, whose birthday is Nov. 10, isn’t expected to live much longer and doctors say they didn’t expect him to have survived this long.

In an email message to Native Sun News last week, he said he has “fantastic medical teams utilizing both alternative and western applications” to aggressively treat his throat cancer, and “we are working toward a good solid program that will enable me to come home to my ranch on the Pine Ridge Sioux Indian Reservation within the next few weeks.”

He has a ranch near Porcupine, where family members are seeking to have him flown.

All but one of Means’ children has traveled to the Scottsdale hospital to be near him, according to sources.

“I am sorry I am not available for comments as I need all of my energy to fight for my life once again,” said Means in closing his email to NSN last week. “I love you and look forward to regaining my life. May the Great Mystery continue to guide and protect the paths of you and your loved ones.”

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