Merced councilman Bill Blake has lung cancer

Merced City Councilman Bill Blake said today that he is being treated for lung cancer.

Blake, 59, said he plans to remain on the council but promised to step down if the disease or treatment prevents him from fulfilling his duties, according to a city press release.

Blake was elected in November to the City Council and was appointed mayor pro tem. The former undersheriff for Merced County retired in December after 38 years on the force. Blake said the cancer was discovered while being treated for severe flu last month. The doctors found spots on his lung after a chest X-ray and further tests revealed the cancer. The councilman is working with specialists in Fresno and Stanford as they develop a treatment plan for fighting the cancer.