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Ray Price Leaves Hospital to Spend Final Days at Home

(Taste of Country) - Ray Price has entered hospice care in his home in Mt. Pleasant, Texas. After being hospitalized earlier this month, the Country Music Hall of Famer and his wife decided to end aggressive treatment for the cancer he’s battled for over two years.

KLTV in Tyler, Texas reports that Price plans to leave the East Texas Medical Center on Thursday (Dec. 12). Janie Price, Ray’s wife of 45 years, says her husband is alert and making decisions:

“With God’s blessing he has not had extreme pain. But it’s with great sadness that I announce to you today that my beloved husband has entered the final stages of his cancer that he has battled for 25 months. Anyone who knows Ray is aware that he has strong convictions and great faith in God. It’s his decision to leave the hospital and return home to spend his final days on his beloved ranch surrounded by the comfort of his home, family and friends.”

Price also sent a final message to fans. “I love my fans and have devoted my life to reaching out to them,” he says, according to the television station. “I appreciate their support all these years and I hope I haven’t let them down. I am at peace. I love Jesus. I’m going to be just fine. Don’t worry about me. I’ll see you again one day.”

Fans are still encouraged to offer words of support and prayers on Price’s official Facebook page. The news, while sad, is not surprising. After declaring his cancer was in remission in February, Price has been in and out of the hospital for much of the year. News that the cancer had returned surfaced earlier this month. Janie’s statement reveals that Price learned of the cancer a full year before he shared the news with fans. He said in November 2012 that he’d been undergoing chemotherapy for six months.

“I’m not looking for sympathy,” Price said at the time. “That’s just the way it is.”

‘Release Me,’ ‘City Lights’ and the 1970 ACM and Grammy Award-winning hit ‘For the Good Times’ are a few of the 87-year-old’s biggest hits. Artists like Willie Nelson, Roger Miller and Johnny Paycheck were a part of Price’s early bands.

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Melissa Lambrecht