Wednesday, December 08, 2004
WBZ radio has stood by and supported "Bruds" through it all, covering his nationally broadcast radio talk show and holding his position no matter how long each of his hospitalizations has been or how close to death he has come. Sometime in the last year, however, Brudnoy developed a rare and very aggressive form of skin cancer called Merckle's Carcinoma. He went into treatment and seemed to be holding his own until December 2nd when he went again into hospital and it was discovered that the cancer has spread throughout Brudnoy's lower body, including his liver and kidneys.
David Brudnoy has been an inspiring, quirky, intelligent, frustrating and occasionally infuriating figure. Highly opinionated but full of common sense, he never played games with what he considered the truth and he isn't doing it now. This afternoon he spoke from his hospital bed with Gary La Pierre, another well-known WBZ reporter, and said that one has to pick one's fights and he knows that this is one he cannot win. Given his doctors' advice that his cancer has entered its terminal phase and that the end is now only days away, Brudnoy says in the interview that he has decided to give up the fight for life. He will not ask his doctors to do anything illegal, much as he might wish they would. He is being heavily medicated, but only for pain. He will continue to eat. He will let nature take its course. He is not afraid. Told that listeners are sending word of prayers being offered Brudnoy, a life-long agnostic, said he doesn't believe anyone is on the receiving end of those prayers, but accepts them gratefully as a sign that people care.
I have assumed for some time that Brudnoy is gay but am not certain that he has ever actually come out to the radio audience. I listen to his program when driving at night but am not a regular listener to his or any talk shows. He's been a strong advocate of gay rights but some of his most passionately held opinions have not been what one would expect. Brudnoy is not a knee-jerk liberal--or conservative for that matter. He went his own way and did it with class, style, a wicked sense of humor and unfailing professionalism. The news has been all over the Boston media, with the utmost support and respect being expressed. For the next several days, thousands and thousands of Bostonians and others across the nation will be holding their breaths.