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Ford family quashes online rumours of Rob Ford's death

Rob Ford at Mt. Sinai Hospital, May 11, 2015 DAN JACOBS

TORONTO – The family of Toronto councillor Rob Ford has refuted reports of his death.

After rumors began circulating on social media Thursday afternoon that the former mayor had died, his office issued a brief statement saying Ford was currently in hospital battling cancer, surrounded by family.

“The Ford family asks for privacy during this difficult time, and thank the people of Toronto and around the world for their ongoing prayers and support,” read the brief statement.

Ford’s chief of staff Dan Jacobs later told CityNews that his condition is unchanged and he’s not in “imminent peril,” adding that the statement was released to quell the online rumours.

On Friday, Jacob updated Ford’s condition saying that family members stayed with him overnight. He added that Ford is too weak for another round of chemo but doctors are trying to build his strength so he can have more.

Ford originally underwent surgery last spring after being diagnosed with a liposarcoma in his abdomen.

Last October, he returned to hospital after revealing he had been diagnosed with a growth on his bladder.

Late last month, Ford was again admitted to hospital for continued treatment on his bladder.