Radio announcer for the Cleveland Browns who nearly lost his voice to leukemia.
WKYC-TV Channel 3 News sports anchor and Browns radio play-by-play announcer Jim Donovan is in remission after undergoing a bone marrow transplant.
On the final day of the weeklong cancer awareness and fundraising campaign at Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls, Donovan spoke to students about his experience.
The transplant saved Donovan’s life, he told the audience of approximately 200 who had gathered to hear his story. It’s unlikely that I’d be here in front of you if that were the case.
The presentation by Donovan marked the culmination of the second annual WJ Fights Cancer Week, which was founded by Walsh senior Bethie Stein in honor of her older brother David, who was diagnosed with lymphoma but is currently doing well after receiving a bone marrow transplant. More than $7,500 was raised this year for the American Cancer Society thanks to the sale of T-shirts, water bottles, and food and snacks given by local eateries.
Attendees of Sunday’s Mass and brunch, which was followed by remarks from Jim Donovan, were encouraged to join the National Marrow Donor Program to donate bone marrow. The school was the location for both screenings and registration.
Hinckley Township resident Donovan, 55, spoke to the crowd about the organ donor who had saved his life.
He went to the hospital in 2000 with what he thought was food sickness from a chicken sandwich; instead, he was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. For over a decade, he battled the illness with chemotherapy, which gradually lost its efficacy.
Donovan had originally planned to decline a bone marrow transplant until his doctor remarked, “If you don’t, in three years you’ll be dead.”
Donovan said, “Okay, I’ll have the transplant.”
Despite being dealt from a team competing to a fourth straight playoff appearance to one that’s out of contention, former Tribe pitcher Trevor Bauer says he’s happy with the way the trade worked out. @BetsyKling, @JaycrawfordCLE, and @WillUjek have more on #3On3 #3Indians pic.twitter.com/kJjaYF0cZc
— Jim Donovan (@3JimDonovan) August 27, 2019
When Donovan went on medical leave, he told his viewers and listeners around 11 p.m. that he was sick and promised to return “as swiftly as I can.” He also informed the Browns’ upper management, who he said was very encouraging.
They urged him, “You’ve got to get better,” he said. You will forever be known as the Browns’ spokesperson.
Health Status of Jim Donovan
This past June, Donovan underwent a bone marrow transplant. The subsequent 105-degree fever he experienced for five days was traced by a nurse to an adverse reaction to an antibiotic. According to him, he went delirious and thought he was dying when his temperature skyrocketed. When asked about his state of mind, he answered, “The Browns won the Super Bowl – that’s how delirious I was.” This drew chuckles from the crowd.
He planned on making a full recovery in time to call the Browns’ season opener on September 11 at Cleveland. Three days after having a third of one ear surgically removed to treat a melanoma that had grown due to his weakened immune system, he made the statement.
“It was like the Super Bowl,” he said. Aiming for something is what drove me. In this case, it was me who actually did it. I felt like I did really well.
When he continued, “They lost,” the crowd laughed even harder.
Jim Donovan claims he is completely healthy again, and he can’t thank the 33-year-old man who gave his bone marrow enough. He and his family have written letters of gratitude to the donor in the hopes of one day meeting him in person. (Transplant regulations forbid any kind of personal interaction for a full calendar year following the donation.)
Donovan, after calling a fake play in which the Browns scored a touchdown at the request of a Walsh student, said, “I feel amazing.” “I just take each day as it comes and give thanks to God that things have worked out this way.”
Debbie Oliver, from the American Cancer Society, was moved by the school’s dedication to helping people like Donovan and his family as they deal with cancer.
A Cuyahoga Falls volunteer named Oliver stated, “It gives me goosebumps a little to see the overall effort and everyone here.” as she looked across the school’s packed cafeteria.
Students, parents, teachers, and alums of Walsh Jesuit are all brought together through this initiative.
Nancy Liberatore, of Solon, who came to Sunday’s events with her two boys, both of whom go to Walsh, said it was “wonderful” and called it “a terrific community event and great event for the school.”
Jim Donovan is the voice of the Cleveland Browns as Radio Announcer. Jim Donovan’s sickness has caused a few torments for a long time as he had Malignant growth. He experienced leukemia for very nearly a decade and had bone marrow. Now he is Good and Back to His Job and giving the voices to the world from the Cleveland browns.