Doctors have diagnosed Robert H. Schuller with life-threatening cancer and said that with treatment he could live another two years, his family has announced.
The 89-year-old has a life-threatening growth in his esophagus, said his daughter, Sheila Schuller Coleman, who shared the news first with worshipers during a sermon in late August. Physicians initially told her father he had three months to live.
In follow-up exams, an oncologist advised Schuller that although the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes, "he is a good candidate for chemotherapy and radiation treatment that could extend his life for another two years," according to an online update via the Hope Center of Christ, the church headed by Schuller Coleman.
This past summer, Schuller fell in the middle of the night while at home in Orange and was hospitalized. He was discharged after physicians determined he was fit and had no cardiac problems as initially feared.
Schuller, once one of America's most prominent evangelical preachers, rose to fame as the founder of the Crystal Cathedral and the face and voice of the "Hour of Power" television program.
Schuller's ministry was launched in 1955 and stemmed from the Reformed Church in America. His upbeat religious messages eventually reached a global audience, thanks to the weekly television broadcasts which, at their peak, attracted more than 20 million viewers worldwide.
The towering, glass-paned cathedral that he and his supporters built was dedicated in 1980. More than three decades later, Schuller resigned from the church's board in 2012 after the organization filed for bankruptcy.
Last year, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange bought the church property, operating it as the Christ Cathedral campus.