State Rep. Tamara Grigsby in intensive care, fighting unknown illness

CREATED Dec 22, 2011 - UPDATED: Dec 22, 2011

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MILWAUKEE- An influential and popular state lawmaker fighting for her life. State Representative Tamara Grigsby of Milwaukee is in intensive care.

A Democratic source told TODAY'S TMJ4 it was apparent over the summer that something was not right with Tamara Grigsby -- when the vocal legislator disappeared from public activities.

At an event billed as a Democratic rally -- a somber beginning.

The gasps in the crowd were audible -- as state Rep. Fred Kessler described the battle facing his friend.

"Say a prayer for our very, very good friend and colleague in the legislature, Tamara Grigsby..." said Rep. Kessler.

Tamara Grigsby has spent the last several days in the hospital -- fighting an unknown illness and on Thursday she is in a coma.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told TODAY'S TMJ4, "It's a surprise for all of us. Rep. Grigsby is my state representative, I've known her for years. She does a wonderful job. My prayers are with her and her family and we're just pulling for her right now."

Grigsby wanted to keep her battle with cancer private, so few people knew she was ill.

Her staff is spreading the news now -- hints at how grave her illness has become.

Democratic state Sen. Chris Larsen said, "It is a personal matter, her health. You know, her coming out means it is pretty serious, I do hope as a fighter she is able to fight back and be fighting again with us soon."

Well wishes came from Republicans, as well, including Governor Scott Walker.

Walker, in a statement, said, "the greatest gift we hope for this Christmas is for her to have a full recovery."

We do not know what kind of cancer she has been battling, or why she is in the hospital.

A top Democrat told TODAY'S TMJ4 they do not even know what hospital she is in -- so they can't even send flowers.