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WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 18, 2009, 04:09 PM

Long time WDAY Anchor Marv Bossart battles Parkinson's

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Tonight, we have both a difficult and inspiring story to share with you about a man so many of us know and love. Marv Bossart shared the anchor desk with both of us and many others before we got here. Although he's been retired from WDAY for nearly 10 years now, he has another very important story to tell.

By: Kerstin Kealy, WDAY



Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Tonight, we have both a difficult and inspiring story to share with you about a man so many of us know and love. Marv Bossart shared the anchor desk with both of us and many others before we got here. Although he's been retired from WDAY for nearly 10 years now, he has another very important story to tell.

A personal story about his battle with a disease that affects a million people nationwide, Parkinson's.

“Live from your news leader, WDAY, Marv Bossart. This is WDAY News center 6. Good evening everyone, we begin tonight with...”

For 42 years, we watched tell the stories that defined the valley, the nation, and the world

“In Oakport Township north of Moorhead, the situation has also gone from bad to worse.”

Tonight he is telling the most important story of his life…

“But it's a disease that affects not just one thing, but many things.”

It was shortly after he left the anchor desk here at WDAY Marv noticed the first signs.

“My little finger on the left hand side you can see it twitching.”

A trip to the doctor confirmed his fears, Parkinson's disease.

“At the time it was such a devastating pronouncement really.”

Although it's different for everyone, Marv quickly learned what the diagnosis means. Everyday activities, his favorite things like cooking, are more difficult. The brain disorder can cause tremors, muscle stiffness, slowness, and severely affect balance.

“Everything is a side effect of that God awful disease. The more it goes on the more you think about it, there's no question about that, and it annoys the hell out of me that I don't have the wonderful voice I had all those years and I thank God for that.”

With a smile through the tears, he's still the jokester and the storyteller.

“By the way this my hat I got in Ireland, Betty didn't think I should wear it today but I think I look pretty stunning in it.”

Marv calls Betty, his wife of more than 50 years, the optimist and backbone of the family. Hand in hand they talked about the disease they are facing and fighting together.

“The biggest thing that's changed is his physical abilities and that's difficult to watch someone lose that.”

“I’m lucky because I have a wonderful support team. 4 wonderful daughters and Betty of course. Betty's my stalwart, she does everything, and it isn't easy I can tell you that.”

Marv is regaining some strength and movement with physical therapy and is taking medication with much success, but over time he knows it will become less effective. He talks about the fears for an uncertain future.

“I think it's what's going to happen in the family someday if this thing gets worse. I know it's coming, I just don't know what form.”

“I have him here and I’m grateful for that.”

Marv says he's willing to share in hopes of helping others facing similar challenges.

“I don't want this awful illness but I’m willing to talk about it because if it will help somebody else in anyway possible I’m for that.”

Tomorrow night at ten, we'll show you how he and other patients are fighting back with the Big program, a specialized Parkinson’s treatment program giving them some of their lives back.

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