Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 - God Bless The Chemo Kid

I'm tired.  It's a few minutes after midnight when I would still feel wide awake but tonight I'm tired.  I've produced back to back doubles and face two more days of doubles over the weekend.  By doubles I mean producing two newscasts in a single day.  It's tough because in order to do it reasonably well you need to come in earlier than a normal night shift to do the 6 p.m.  That means 10  hour plus days and hurried dinners.

I'm lucky because I work with a bunch of professionals who know how to spin bullshit into gold.  And I must give credit to my E.P. colleague James Scullary for making sure I had plenty of content for the 6 to make my life easier.  I've even managed to hold onto five, count em' five, good stories, that should make my producing a lot easier this weekend.

But I'm tired because it was a sad end to the old year.  Shortly after 9:30 p.m. we heard police traffic coming from South Sacramento.  A 15 year old boy was shot in the head and killed.  Then just minutes before the newscast we got word that I had been dreading for the last few days.  A 26 year old man named Giovanni Goodman had lost his battle with cancer.

What made this important to me is that we had run a story about Giovanni exactly three weeks ago.  He called himself "The Chemo Kid" and became a rapper spinning lyrics about his battle against Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  Giovanni fought the good fight for five years but shortly before Thanksgiving, doctor's gave him six months and he decided to forsake another round of chemo.

Will Frampton had profiled Goodman the year before and asked to do one more story on him when he learned of his decision to end his fight against cancer.  It's the best story Will's done in my time at News10.  It was a great story.  You can find it on

But this week my conscience began to gnaw at me.  It dawned on me that Giovanni may not make it to the New Year.  Sadly enough, my worries were confirmed when the family sent Will an email just before we went to air tonight.  I hurriedly put some words together to tell the story of the end of this young man's life.  But my words fell short, because three weeks ago I saw the most courageous man I'd seen in a long, long time, coming to terms with his own mortality.  God bless Giovanni Goodman and his friends and family.  Remember "The Chemo Kid" in your prayers.

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