Brazil’s former president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, was discharged from hospital in Sao Paulo on Tuesday, after a first round of chemotherapy for throat cancer.
Lula, who served as president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010, was diagnosed with a tumor on his larynx late last week after complaining of throat pain.
The news touched many and Lula received messages of support and prayers from all over the country and the world.
He also received words of encouragement and prayer for his recovery from Pope Benedict XVI, according to Brazil’s ambassador to the Vatican, Almir Barbuda.
On Sunday, many Brazilians prayed for the former president as they were going to church in order to give him strength and hope.
“I will pray for Lula because I know how difficult it is. He cannot go into despair and depression,” said Carmozina Cronenberg according to the Brazilian publication Pernambuco.
She had a similar situation in the past when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, but found support in a church where, according to her, the prayers healed her.
In a raspy voice, Lula thanked well-wishers for all the positive messages and prayers in a video posted on YouTube.
"I believe I will win this battle. This is not the first time and won't be the last battle I will face. With your solidarity, it's going to be much more peaceful, much easier," Lula said in the video.
According to media reports, doctors at the hospital have said they are optimistic he will make a full recovery.
Lula left office Jan. 1 with an 87 percent approval rating, and is considered Brazil’s most popular president in recent history.