Home Christian News Tim Keller Asks for Prayer in Health Update: ‘New Tumors Have Developed’

Tim Keller Asks for Prayer in Health Update: ‘New Tumors Have Developed’

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Tim Keller looks at the book of Deuteronomy in the fifth episode of the Gospel in Life series. Screenshot from YouTube / @Gospel in Life

Author and pastor Dr. Timothy Keller has posted an update on his battle with cancer, asking for prayers for the latest strategy he is taking to combat it. New tumors have developed, says Keller, so he will be repeating the immunotherapy he endured last year. 

“Dear Praying Friends,” said Keller in a post to his social media Sunday morning. “I will shortly be returning to the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD in order to spend April doing a variation of the immunotherapy that I received last June. It was successful in eradicating 99% of the tumors. However, new tumors have developed. They are unfortunately in some fairly inconvenient places, so the doctors encouraged us to go through the treatment again, this time targeting a different genetic marker of the cancer.”

Dr. Timothy Keller: Immunotherapy ‘Was Fairly Brutal’

Dr. Timothy Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. In June 2020, he announced he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Keller started chemotherapy, which had encouraging results, he reported in August. In November of that year, Keller shared that the chemotherapy was continuing to have promising results and that he was tolerating it well.

Keller had surgery in May 2021 to remove some nodules, and his update shortly afterward was hopeful. However, in September 2021, Keller said that due to a “mysterious lump” that turned out to be cancerous, his doctor was increasing his chemotherapy.

In May 2022, Keller celebrated the two-year anniversary of his diagnosis, expressing gratitude that the chemotherapy had helped reduce his Stage IV cancer and that “God has seen it fit to give me more time.” He continued, “However, we are also moving onto an immunotherapy trial at the National Cancer Center in Bethesda, MD as of June 1, 2022. This has shown great promise in potentially curing cancer, though it is a rigorous and demanding month-long program (that will need updates up to 6 months).”

While that treatment was highly successful, it did lead to a scare that was serious enough to prompt Keller’s son, Michael, to ask on June 14 for prayers for his father, who was dealing with side effects from the treatment. Three days later, Michael posted an update, saying, “Thank you for your prayers this past week. Things were scary for a bit but God was gracious, working through your prayers and the skill of the doctors, and now he is doing much better. He is due to be released from the hospital.”

Keller has stated that his battle with cancer has had a dramatic impact on his spiritual life, as well as that of his wife, Kathy. “We never want to go back spiritually where we were before the cancer diagnosis,” he said. “We never want to go back to that.”

Dealing with cancer, said Keller, has caused him to depend on God as he never has before: “He really is there. He is enough. I’m actually happier than I’ve ever been on a given day…I enjoy my prayer life more than I ever have in my life.”