On the 10 O'clock News on KONG TV, news anchor Lori Matsukawa delivered a stunning announcement.
The announcement was shocking not only by its nature, but even more shocking because it was about KOMO TV news anchor Kathi Goertzen.
Television and radio stations are so fiercely competitive, it really takes something of significance for a station to acknowledge and name another TV or radio station in the market.
There is a well-entrenched, deeply reinforced fear that if you mention another station's call letters on-the-air, it is an open invitation to every listener/viewer to flip the dial to the other station and thus potentially have a negative impact on building the highly prized ratings.
The announcement detailed that Kathi Goertzen will undergo surgery for a brain tumor, Thursday, April 3.
This is not the first time Kathi will go through this. This is the third round for Kathi who has endured two prior brain surgeries and two series of subsequent radiation treatments in attempts to eradicate the acoustic neuroma that has plagued her.
The acoustic neuroma is not malignant in and of itself, but as it grows ever larger it puts pressure vital structures and it must be dealt with.
In each prior operation, surgeons have worked meticulously to spare the cranial nerves and brain stem, which lie adjacent to the base of the tumor. If they aggressively removed every fiber of the tumor, they would take with it Kathi's ability to speak. Other vital processes would also be affected.
Kathi has courageously gone through this ordeal twice before and asks only for prayers. She added that she is hoping that the "third time will be the charm."
KOMO TV has a video link on their Web site http://www.komotv.com/about/kathi/ which features a discussion with her closest on-camera friends: Dan Lewis, Steve Pool, and Eric Johnson. The page also contains a link where you can send e-mail prayers and notes of encouragement to Kathi directly, and there's also a phone number to call.
The fact that a local television station made the announcement on their newscast about another TV station's staff member's illness, is testament to the affection and respect that is recognized regionally throughout the Northwest for Kathi Goertzen.