April 13, 2007
Contact:
Emily Lenzner, NPR
 | 

NPR COMMENTATOR AND BLOGGER LEROY SIEVERS
BRINGS TOGETHER HIS ONLINE CANCER COMMUNITY
FOR THE FIRST TIME ON-AIR TO DISCUSS LIVING WITH CANCER FOR NPR NEWS TALK OF THE NATION
MONDAY, APRIL 16

SIEVERS AND MYCANCER.ORG CHOSEN AS OFFICIAL WEBBY HONOREE



April 12, 2007; Washington, D.C. - Over the last year, broadcast journalist Leroy Sievers has chronicled his battle with cancer and its impact on his life on Morning Edition commentaries, a podcast, and blog entitled "My Cancer." Through these, Sievers has built an online community of people whose lives have been touched in one way or another by the disease. For the first time in a broadcast, members of the My Cancer community will join Sievers and other cancer survivors in a live one-hour conversation on the Monday, April 16 edition of NPR News' national talk show Talk of the Nation. Host Neal Conan will moderate the discussion with calls and emails from listeners.

After almost a year of sharing our thoughts and experiences electronically, this will be the first time that we can actually talk with each other and meet face to face," said Sievers. "We have all been touched by cancer in one way or another. This is another opportunity to remind each other that we're not going through this alone."

The former executive producer of ABC News Nightline, Sievers was first diagnosed with colon cancer six years ago. In late 2005 the cancer returned in the form of a brain tumor, which was successfully removed with surgery. He detailed the subsequent chemotherapy treatments in a commentary for Morning Edition on February 16, 2006, that struck such a chord with listeners - those battling cancer and others - the decision was made to build a regular NPR series out of the commentaries and expand to the web. The My Cancer blog and podcast are available at www.NPR.org/mycancer.

Sievers' multimedia work is being recognized as an Official Honoree by the Webby Awards, signifying "an outstanding caliber of work." Of the more than 8000 entries submitted this year, fewer than 15% were distinguished as an Official Honoree.

Sievers continues to battle his cancer, and while he is currently free of active tumors, he expects the cancer to return at some point. "Cancer is really hard for a lot of people to talk about. The most rewarding part of this however, is realizing that we have created a place in the community where people can talk about cancer in ways that they may not be able to anywhere else," said Sievers.

Over the last nine months, there have been on average nearly 30,000 monthly unique visitors to the My Cancer blog, while the podcast has been downloaded more than 73,000 times. Sievers' appearance on Talk of the Nation with members of the "My Cancer" community airs live Monday, April 16 at 2:00 PM ET (for stations and broadcast times in your market, visit www.NPR.org/stations). Listeners will be invited to join the conversation by calling 800-989-8255, or emailing talk@npr.org

The Discovery Channel, where Sievers is currently an executive producer, will premiere "Living with Cancer," a documentary and town meeting highlighting a series of conversations between Sievers and his friend and colleague Ted Koppel, on Sunday, May 6.

Talk of the Nation, hosted by Neal Conan, is NPR's midday news talk program that explores politics, pop culture, education, religion, books, health, family and music. Through call-ins and e-mails, listeners are able to join in dialogue with decision-makers, authors, academicians, artists and newsmakers in the headlines. With nearly 3 million weekly listeners, the program airs on 280 NPR stations across the country. The program also airs on NPR Talk on Sirius Satellite Radio.

-NPR-