Well, everyone in the Mahoning Valley knows now what I learned a short while ago. Our region's pre-eminent television meteorologist, Don Guthrie, has been diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer.
I could hardly believe it when I heard the news. Words cannot accurately capture my sadness because not only am I one of Don's longtime fans/supporters but I am honored to say that he and I are also pals.
I first met Don in October of 1990 when, as a new YSU communications graduate, I started my first real job in the programming department at WKBN-TV. Those were back in the good old days when the radio and TV stations were still owned by the Williamson family and housed under one roof. Happy times for PK.
And, one of the first friendly faces I encountered during those inaugural moments of my initial "real" job was none other than Don's.
As a wide-eyed new employee who had grown up watching Don, Tom Holden, Ode Aduma and a handful of other local broadcasting icons in the Youngstown/Warren market, I was thrilled and encouraged to learn how incredibly kind-hearted and welcoming they all were especially Don.
The nine years I spent working at WKBN-TV were incredibly instrumental in my life; I even met my husband, Kerry, at the station. Well, technically we met in college, but that's another column for another day.
But one of the things I could always count on during that time was the compassion shown to me by Don. Never did it fail me; he has, from day one, always made me smile.
In fact, I will never forget seeing him rush over to me at our wedding reception brunch so many years ago, feigning breathlessness and asking if he was too late - had I already said "I do" to Kerry? We laughed and laughed, partly because he was such a big supporter of our union and mostly because he is such a devoted husband and father. And now, grandfather.
Don and I also have a church connection; he regularly attends Mass at my home parish, where his wife is an incredibly talented cantor.
The truth is, I love Don. And, knowing that he's facing this challenge is quite difficult for so many of us who hold him in such high esteem to fathom. I must admit that I'm doubly worried these days because another person whom I love deeply has also received some sobering news recently. And for her and Don and so many facing physical hurdles such as these, I can only do what I know is most effective: pray.
Each day, I think of these two incredible folks and the others in my life whom I know are struggling with a cross to bear:
Dear Jesus, Divine Physician and Healer of the sick, we turn to you in this time of illness. O dearest comforter of the troubled, alleviate our worry and sorrow with your gentle love, and grant us the grace and strength to accept this burden. Dear God, we place our worries in your hands. We place our sick under your care and humbly ask that you restore your servant to health again. Above all, grant us the grace to acknowledge your will and know that whatever you do, you do for the love of us. Amen.
Please join me in my support of Don (and my other pal) by saying a prayer and/or sending him good wishes to: Don Guthrie, c/o 3930 Sunset Blvd., Boardman, OH 44512
Hey, Don! I totally believe in the power of prayer. Sending you tons
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist and super optimist about overcoming life's hurdles. Contact her with positive thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.