Florida Speaker of the House Rep. Allan Bense must have had a flood of emotions as he looked out over the House chamber on opening day Tuesday.
For all of his pride and determination, he must have felt concern for one of the house's newest members, his friend and former legislative aid David Coley, who's fighting liver cancer.
NewsChannel 7's Jason Davis caught up with Rep. Coley at the state capital Tuesday as he fulfilled a lifelong dream.
Coley was elected just last November and this is his first regular session.
"Opening day has a special meaning unto itself because it is the convening of the session in which we're coming together to do for the people what they elected us to do."
Coley was originally diagnosed with cancer in December of ‘04 and was given just months to live. At that time he says he was determined not to accept that and sought out a second opinion. He then began treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville and is now being treated at a Tallahassee clinic.
"The original prognosis was not good at all, but subsequent prognosis from Mayo, from the University of Maryland are all very positive and I expect to make a full recovery."
Coley says so far so good. He's even beginning to see some of his weight come back and is ready to take on what the next two months of the legislative session will bring.
"From a legislative stand point it's time now to buckle down and do business. We've got a Speaker that believes in work, so you're going to see a lot of work done between now and the next 60 days."
Coley, of Marianna, was given a special Welcome by House Speaker Bense and standing ovation from his fellow lawmakers.