Millcreek Democrat Rep. Patrice Arent, a veteran member of the Utah Legislature and founder of the House Clean Air Caucus, is being treated for cancer, according to a Friday post on the lawmaker’s Facebook page.
Arent wrote that she has been living with multiple myeloma — a cancer that affects a person’s plasma cells — for 21 months but that the condition was detected early and that she is receiving treatment from Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute.
“With innovative new therapies, my disease is quite manageable,” Arent wrote. “And while every person’s response to treatment is different, my experience has been very positive.”
Arent wrote that she plans to continue working on behalf of her constituents in the state Legislature. The diagnosis did not prevent her participation in the most recent legislative session, during which Arent advocated for a record $28 million on various air quality initiatives, and personally sponsored legislation related to vehicle idling and emissions testing.
A spokesman for the House Democratic Caucus said Arent would not be commenting beyond her written statement in the immediate term. Arent wrote that she is optimistic for the future and grateful for the support of “so many wonderful people in our community."
“I know this support will help sustain me and my family as we navigate this unexpected development in our lives,” she wrote. “I will provide updates as my journey continues.”
Arent was first elected to the Utah Legislature in 1996, serving in both the House and Senate before leaving the Legislature at the end of 2006. She ran again for the House in 2010 and was elected to her current seat.
Clarification: This article has been updated to reflect that Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, has served multiple, nonconsecutive terms in both the Utah House and Utah Senate.