Bright, 79, underwent medical testing at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and received confirmation from his doctor that he has pulmonary fibrosis of the lung. His wife, Vonette, announced her husband's condition in a letter to Campus Crusade staff on Oct. 27, the ministry announced.
Earlier in the month, Bill Bright told his staff of his cancer condition and of the initial diagnosis of the lung disease.
He has been treated for four years for prostate cancer, and doctors think he developed pulmonary fibrosis during that time. Pulmonary fibrosis is a buildup of scar tissue in the lung that results in the tissue permanently losing its ability to transport oxygen. The average life expectancy for those suffering from the condition is three to five years, and there is no known cure.
Bright plans to turn over the presidency of Campus Crusade on Aug. 1, 2001, and continue as chairman of the board of directors.
In recent weeks he has traveled to Amsterdam, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, but he plans to slow down soon.
"I'm here to do what God still has for me to do on this Earth, and whenever that is finished, I am ready to be with him in heaven," Bright told his staff. "There is still so much work to be done."
Stephen Douglass, executive vice president of Campus Crusade, who was chosen in July as Bright's successor, said: "We are saddened to learn of Dr. Bright's recent diagnosis, but are certain that he will face this obstacle with the grace, courage, and dignity that he has used to lead this ministry for nearly 50 years."
Bill Bright, the winner of the 1996 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, and Vonette Bright co-founded Campus Crusade in 1951. It began as a ministry to college students but now also includes more than 60 ministries involving families, inner cities, athletes, prisons, executives, and the military.