Very, very brave...
Broadcast journalist Linda Ellerbee (1944-), from Bryan Texas, celebrates her birthday today. Known for her concise writing style, wry wit, and direct manner, she has helped turn network news into something more than, in her words, "the gospel according to cute."
She has written honestly about her stay at The Betty Ford Clinic for alcohol dependency. Seven years ago Ellerbee discovered lumps on both breasts and began her cancer battle. In a bold, brave move, she chose to have a bilateral mastectomy, not lumpectomy, because she didn't want to worry about recurrence of the disease.
"I got sober in '89," she explained in a 1997 interview, "I was diagnosed with breast cancer in '92. And I felt very strongly at that time that this gift of sobriety was not coincidental. I needed that sobriety to walk through this experience, because without it I don't know how I would have found the strength to feel as good as I do now."
The producer and host of Nick News, the Emmy award-winning children's TV series on Nickelodeon, her strength inspires. Her colleague Ted Koppel has said, "What can you say about Linda Ellerbee? The woman is raucous and irreverent and writes like a dream."
"I've been the luckiest journalist in America," Ellerbee explained. "I've been forced to reconsider every assumption I carried and forced to look at the world again with new eyes. It's been the best job in the world."
Be brave. Courage is acting with fear, not without it.