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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford speaks to the media during a brief media scrum outside his city hall office on Sept 9 2014.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Rob Ford on Friday released the following statement:

As many of you know I've been dealing with a serious medical issue, the details of which are unknown. But I know that with the love and support of my family, I will get through this.

I want to thank the residents of Toronto for your wishes and prayers and I also want to thank the amazing staff at Humber River Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital for the care and compassion you have shown, not just me, but all the people who come here to get better.

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People know me as a guy who faces things head on and never gives up, and as your Mayor I have done just that. I derailed the gravy train, cut unnecessary spending and made government more accountable. I did this by facing these challenges head on.

Now I could be facing a battle of my lifetime, and I want the people of Toronto to know that I intend to face this challenge head on, and win.

With the advice of my family and doctors I know I need to focus on getting better.

There is much work to be done and I can't give it my all at this point in time.

My heart is heavy when I tell you that I'm unable to continue my campaign for reelection as your Mayor.

While I'm unable to commit to the heavy schedule required for a Mayoral candidate I will not turn my back on Ward 2. I will be running as Councillor of Ward 2, to represent the fine folks that have become my neighbours and friends over these past 14 years.

Four years ago we made history. With your help we started a movement that would take back our city.

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I was not alone in this, my big brother Doug was by my side, sharing my vision, fighting for the great people of Toronto. I never could have accomplished what we did without him.

Doug loves our city as much as I do. He believes that standing up for the average person and watching the bottom line are what matters most at City Hall.

Doug also believes in standing up for his family no matter what. His loyalty and willingness to be there for anyone, anytime is just who he is.

I've asked Doug to finish what we started together, so that all we've accomplished isn't washed away.

I have asked Doug to run to become the next Mayor of Toronto, because we need him. We cannot go backwards.

I love our city and I love being your Mayor. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve you.

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For the past four years I have gotten up everyday thinking about our great city and how to make life just a little bit better for each of you.

To anyone facing a serious health challenge, I wish you strength and courage on your journey, you are not alone.

Hope is a powerful thing. With hope, support and determination I know I will beat this, not just for my family, but for YOU, Toronto.

My family and I thank you for your continued support and prayers. God bless

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