Jimmy Carter Will Go To Nepal For Habitat For Humanity Despite Cancer Battle

He and his wife have dedicated a week each year to help Habitat.

In July, former President Jimmy Carter revealed that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. At the time, he said that his deeply respected humanitarian efforts will be significantly reduced as a result. But despite undergoing aggressive treatment for cancer, Jimmy Carter's Nepal trip for Habitat for Humanity will go ahead in November as scheduled.

The 91-year-old humanitarian figure's obtained permission to travel from his doctors. According to Habitat, Carter will be accompanied by a medical team during the visit as he celebrates the organization's 32nd annual Habitat for Humanity Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. The project is set to take place from Nov. 1 to 6 close to the Kathmandu capital, one of the areas most gravely affected by the earthquake earlier in 2015.

1,500 volunteers will be building permanent homes for low-income families, most of whom are Dalits, considered the lowest caste group in Nepal. 

"We are so excited that President and Mrs. Carter are going to be able to join us. Their involvement has inspired millions of people around the world to share our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to call home," said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, in the statement. "The two of them bring such energy and enthusiasm to our mission and we look forward to their participation for many more years to come."

Flickr/LBJ Foundation
Flickr/LBJ Foundation

For the past three decades and more, the Nobel prize recipient and his wife, Rosalynn Carter have devoted a week each year to help Habitat build and repair homes, and raise awareness of the importance of affordable housing. 

Carter's post-presidency efforts have been squarely focused on international diplomacy and activism. His organization, The Carter Center, has worked to improve global health in poverty areas across the world. One of The Carter Center's greatest accomplishments was the elimination of 99 percent of the Guinea worm disease, from an estimated 3.5 million cases in 1986 to 128 reported cases in 2014. 

Despite cancer, Carter's work isn't done. "I'd like for the last guinea worm to die before I do," he had said.

Cover image via Jessica McGowan/Getty Images