Rob Ford, former Toronto mayor, receiving palliative care

Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, seen here in 2013, has been battling a rare and aggressive form of cancer.

Story highlights

  • Rob Ford, former mayor, is now a Toronto city councilman
  • He was diagnosed with cancer in September 2014
  • He is notorious for admitting to the use of crack cocaine

(CNN)Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is "resting comfortably" in palliative care as he battles cancer, his family said Monday, adding he is sometimes being sedated to help him deal with pain.

Members of Ford's family are at his side throughout the day at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital, and some also stay the night, the family said in a statement.
    "At this time, the treatment that Councilor Ford is receiving is palliative in nature." the statement read. "To be clear, he has not been transferred to any kind of 'palliative care unit,' he remains on the same floor, and on the same wing where he has received his chemotherapy treatments."
    Part of the palliative care includes sedation, which is part of Ford's pain management, they said.
    "As Councilor Ford and his brother Doug have said several times throughout the course of treatment, pain has been an ongoing issue, and the councilor is now resting comfortably thanks to the efforts of his medical team."
    Ford, 46, served as mayor of Toronto from 2010 to 2014 after a decade in the City Council.
    He drew worldwide notoriety in May 2013 when cell phone video appeared to show him smoking crack cocaine. Despite at first denying the use of illicit drugs, he admitted to it six months later, after which the City Council stripped him of most of his mayoral powers.
    Ford launched a re-election bid and then spent two months in rehab, after which he returned to campaigning. But he had to abandon his re-election bid in September 2014 after being diagnosed with a malignant liposarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer that doctors said spread from the fatty tissue of his abdomen to other parts of his body.
    Ford was instead elected councilor for the seat he previously held, Ward 2 -- his birthplace of Etobicoke North.
    Rob Ford was elected to the City Council after his cancer diagnosis in 2014.
    "Doctors have been clear since Councilor Ford's diagnosis that he is dealing with an extremely serious illness," the family statement read.
    "We have not been given any indication of when he could possibly be discharged or a different treatment course be attempted, but they have also been clear that he still faces challenges.
    "They are very concerned with the reappearance and progression of the disease, but everyone is hopeful that his body will be able to fight back enough that he can then undergo further treatment."