POLITICS

Rob Ford Selling Last Of Bobbleheads To Raise Funds For Hospitals Treating Him

11/21/2014 10:29 EST | Updated 01/21/2015 05:59 EST
TORONTO - Hundreds of people lined up at city hall Friday to buy what was left of the Rob Ford bobbleheads, and some even got a chance to have their dolls signed by the cancer-stricken mayor of Toronto.

The lineup began as early as 7 a.m., and hundreds of the so-called "Robbie Bobbies" had been snapped up by the time a pale and tired-looking Ford arrived shortly before noon.

Speaking with difficulty and struggling to keep his eyes open, Ford described his ongoing battle with a rare and aggressive type of cancer in his abdomen.

"I am feeling all right. I am not myself. I'm still doing phone calls, still going out, taking care of my constituents. I haven't gotten my fire in my belly yet. I have to get that back. I really want to get that back," he told a crowd of reporters.

The proceeds from the sale of the bobbleheads will go to two city hospitals where Ford's been receiving cancer treatments.

"I am signing the bobbleheads to help the cause...They treated me phenomenally," he said.

Ford, whose time in office has been marred by scandal, including his admitted crack-cocaine use and a stint in rehab for alcohol abuse, has said fighting cancer has been his biggest challenge.

He is expected to return to hospital on Monday for a fourth round of chemotherapy. Ford said Friday that his tumour hadn't shrunk, but the usually fast-growing cancer hadn't gotten larger either.

"It's good that it hasn't grown," he said.

Doctors discovered the cancer in September and the mayor dropped his bid for re-election shortly afterwards, opting instead to run for city council. He was elected by a wide margin.

Four models of bobbleheads were on sale Friday, including a limited edition football model with a price tag of $100. The rest were priced at $30 each. They were also being sold online.

Some in the crowd said they came hoping for a chance to shake hands with the controversial mayor.

"Rob Ford, I got his signature, his autograph, and it's a life-long opportunity for me," said Burns Anderson, of Thornhill, Ont., who bought the Jimmy Kimmel edition. It depicts Ford wearing a black suit and shirt with a red tie, the same outfit the scandal-plagued mayor wore on the late-night host's show last March.

Jessica Stevenson said she had the day off and decided to travel to Toronto to buy a Ford bobblehead.

"I came all the way from Brampton to get this because the money goes to a good cause," she said.

Others said it was Ford's notoriety that brought them to city hall.

"I think that just the craze around Rob Ford and his past is going to make this a memorable gift for myself and other people in my family," said Kelly Moore, of Toronto, who bought three bobbleheads.

"And the fact he signed it is also pretty cool."

Toronto's mayor-elect John Tory takes office Dec. 2.

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