Veteran Chicago newsman Derrick Blakley is being treated for bone marrow cancer, but hopes to be back on the job at WBBM-Channel 2 while he awaits a stem cell transplant.
Blakley, 56, had surgery earlier this month to repair damage in his right leg bone and currently is undergoing rehabilitation. He previously had been seen around the CBS-owned station using a cane, which he explained was to guard against falls that could break the bone.
In a letter to his Channel 2 colleagues, Blakley wrote:
"I've been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow that weakens the bones. . . . In future weeks, I'll be undergoing chemotherapy and eventually a stem cell transplant. That will require some time in the hospital and away from the job, but I hope to be around here more often than not as the treatment proceeds. . . . I know [I] can count on your support and encouragement; I've already received lots of it. And I look forward every day to working with all of you, in this, the most dynamic and caring newsroom in the city."
Blakley, a Chicago native and multiple Emmy Award winner, joined Channel 2 in 2003 as a news anchor and reporter after 15 years at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5. Earlier, he spent seven years as a network correspondent for CBS News. He's a graduate of Hales Franciscan High School, the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois.