I have been covering health topics on the news on and off since I first started working in TV 24 years ago. At first, I wasn't overly fond of the beat. After all, I am squeamish about medical procedures and not particularly fond of being in hospitals. But over the years, it kind of grew on me. Now, I can say I really enjoy reporting on health issues.
The work really interests me, especially learning about nutrition and fighting diseases, like cancer. Most everyone has been affected by this deadly disease. My first experience was with my Mom. She was diagnosed with melanoma 21 years ago. It was strangely on the bottom of her foot.
I was very worried back then because melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Luckily, Mom did great, and will turn 81 next month. For my Dad, things didn't go so well. He was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 1993. That was the year I got the job here at Channel 7. I was so glad I was coming home. It turned out to be the last six years of his life. After the colon cancer, he had two bouts of lung cancer. Then, the killer: stomach cancer. A year after being diagnosed, it spread to his back. He died in 1999 at age 68.
Things went so well with Mom, I was hopeful Dad could make it through. It was not meant to be. We miss him very much. With cancer so prevalent in our area, I make it a point to seek out stories about advancements in treatment and prevention. Hopefully someday, we'll have a cure.