Bishop Leaves Hospital Determined to Fight Cancer

San Diego Roman Catholic Bishop Leo T. Maher was released from Scripps Clinic’s Green Hospital Monday morning, and promptly issued a statement saying he is determined to fight his brain cancer.

Maher’s release to convalesce at home came five days after surgery to remove a tumor from the 74-year-old prelate’s brain.

With the help of a private nurse, the bishop will recuperate in his Mission Hills home and will begin chemotherapy and radiation treatments within a week, said diocesan spokesman Dan E. Pitre.

In his statement, as relayed by Pitre, Maher expressed gratitude for the “outpouring of prayers, good wishes and love from the people of the diocese, the whole community, as well as the people from the neighboring Mexican dioceses of Tijuana and Mexicali.”


He expressed “gratitude and appreciation to Almighty God” for the outpouring of prayers, which the bishop believes resulted in a “miraculous recovery” from the surgery, the diocese statement said.

The bishop’s administrative assistant, Elvia Aguilar, visited Maher and said he was in good spirits and is resting comfortably at home.

The tumor was largely removed from the rear section of Maher’s brain last Wednesday, Scripps Clinic doctors said late last week. However, it was a fast-growing “grade four” tumor that, even with aggressive therapy, often kills people within a year after diagnosis, they said.