Public Radio Saved My Life

I have been listening to NPR my entire life. At First, it was forced on me by my mother. It was the default station on her alarm clock, in the car, and she was always listening on the kitchen radio throughout the day. I rebelled in middle and high school, always complaining that I couldn’t listen to pop music on the radio like my friends did. Then, I found myself tuning in on my own. While in college, I relied on NPR for my daily news and now it is programmed into my car radio.  I realize that the claim that public radio saved my life may seem like an exaggeration, but it’s true.

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On November 2, 2012, while driving home from student teaching, I was listening to my local public radio station (89.1-WBOI). Talk of the Nation’s Science Friday was on and Ira Flatow was speaking with Dr. Russell Cohen from the University of Chicago about a study he was conducting on the relationship of good bacteria and IBD (you can listen here). I had a “drive way moment” as I sat in my car and listened to the end of the interview. I ran inside and told Kyle about what I had just heard. He instantly logged onto NPR.org and listened to the interview. We were both very impressed with Dr. Cohen and decided to see if I could get an appointment with him. The rest to the story is familiar to most of you… Dr. Cohen reviewed my case and referred me to Dr. Hurst. My colon was removed and almost a year to the date (November 1, 2013) later, I started life with my J-pouch.

If you are a regular NPR listener, you know that the Spring Fund Drive is winding down. I have never been a contributor. I have listened to Fund Drive after Fund Drive over the last few years always justifying my not calling in–first, because my mom always does, and then because I was sick and not working. When this Spring Fund Drive began I knew that I was out of excuses. Kyle and I are both working and I owe so much of how well I am feeling to that Friday in November 2012. I was going to lose my colon regardless of what I listen to on the radio, but it was NPR that lead me to the University of Chicago, to Dr. Hurst, and that allowed me to lose it in the best possible way– with a great outcome!

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Kyle called this morning and pledged our first donation to our local NPR station. When his name was read on air I felt proud. He shard my story when he called and I have to admit that I couldn’t hold back the tears when it was broadcast for all to hear.

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