Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.
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November 28, 2008 |
Dear Mr. Keillor,
I will be one of the lucky people who will be in attendance this Saturday as you perform in Music Hall in Cincinnati, OH.
I am attending not only because I am a true fan, but I wanted to see your show live after hearing it so many times on the radio.
In 2004, my son Leo, then 11 years old was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) and had to undergo months of treatment in the Oncology unit at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Medical Center. Leo's treatment included drugs that caused him to get painful corneal abrasions on his eyes. Light was very painful, so we would cover all the windows with black paper, have Leo wear sunglasses and basically live in total darkness for days at a time. During these times, every Saturday night, Leo and I would sit side-by-side on his bed, in the dark and turn on WVXU to listen to your show. Often, we would tune in again for your Sunday replay. Leo loved your show and we laughed so much while we listened. Your show really helped him and me through some very hard times.
Unfortunately, Leo did not survive his cancer and he died in March of 2006 at the age of 13. Obviously I miss him very much, he was such a smart kid and had a killer sense of humor.
I wanted you know this because your show meant so much to us and that now, when I happen to catch your show, and hear your soft voice over the radio, I am transported back to that dark hospital room with my sweet friend sitting at my side.
When I watch on Saturday night, I am sure Leo will be right beside me and my wonderful husband who got the tickets for me. (He knew I HAD to go) I will think to myself, "Leo, this one is for you".
Many of us never know what part we play in another's life. I thought you ought to know what a gift your show was to two people sitting in a dark room on the oncology unit at Children's Hospital. Thank you for the sweet memories.
West Chester, Ohio
Leo was lucky to have you for a mother, who could see him through those dark days with such presence of mind and strength of spirit. You've set a rather high mark for heroic parenthood, Susan. I'm glad you'll be at the Music Hall on Saturday and I hope we get a chance to meet afterward.