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Hogan in North Carolina for sister's funeral

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan plans to leave the state Thursday evening to attend his sister's funeral in North Carolina.

The governor's older and only sister Mary Theresa Lazarus died last Saturday at 66 from a rare degenerative brain disorder. Her funeral will be held Saturday near her home outside Charlotte, Hogan spokesman Douglass Mayer said.

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Mayer said her death was sudden. Hogan and his wife, Yumi, will return Monday.

"My heart is broken," Hogan wrote in a Facebook post on the afternoon his sister died, saying "she was the best big sister anyone could ever ask for. I was always so proud of her."

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Lazarus was moved into hospice care less than a week before she died from what Hogan aides said was Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a condition that effects about one in 1 million people worldwide.

Hogan has said his sister leaves behind a husband, two sons, a daughter and eight grandchildren.  She lived in Sherrills Ford, N.C.

Her death is the latest blow in a year of personal challenges for the Republican governor.

Hogan was diagnosed in June with Stage 3 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and underwent 18 weeks of treatment. He is now in remission and undergoes monthly treatments to keep the cancer at bay.

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