GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Few people in this world can share a story quite like KARE 11’s Boyd Huppert.
In two decades at KARE 11, Boyd has won nearly every award imaginable, including multiple regional Emmy awards, and local and national Edward R. Murrow awards.
Boyd’s stories often highlight the heroes we seldom see, the beacons of community, with an emphasis not always on the fastest, most awarded, or strongest, but those with the highest of human compassion and dignity.
But now, the great storyteller has his own story to tell.
If Boyd was writing this, he would weave his way using few, but perfect words that paint the picture, filling us with emotion like only he can.
That's why he's the best. This, unfortunately, is not that kind of story.
Boyd spoke with longtime friend, and KARE 11 anchor, Randy Shaver, to share his recent diagnosis of multiple myeloma.
“Yeah, it's a punch in the gut,” Boyd says. “You try to bargain a little bit, you try to think it's not real, then acceptance came pretty quickly.”
Multiple myeloma is an uncommon cancer of the plasma cells in our blood. Those cells help us fight off infections and viruses, but in Boyd's case the plasma cells are doing the opposite, creating bad antibodies and protein.
There were warning signs: fatigue, nose bleeds, eye floaters from a hemorrhage behind his eye, that led Boyd to get checked and ultimately led him to the right doctors.
Boyd's blood was turned into a thick mess, which is why doctors had to work fast, starting with a plasma exchange hours after he was diagnosed.
Without this, Boyd would not be able to begin chemotherapy.
Boyd's road ahead will be long and taxing. There is no cure for multiple myeloma, but there is hope. And that word is the one this great storyteller is clinging to most.
“I have a fighting chance because of early detection. I'm going to get extra years because of early detection,” Boyd says.
Multiple myeloma research is moving extremely fast, doubling the life expectancy in the last 10 years alone. And cancer researchers in Minnesota are on the cutting edge.
Boyd has already started his chemo treatments. Eventually, he'll have a bone marrow transplant, likely early next year.
The hope is that he’ll then be in remission.
New treatments over the next few years could improve his chances for a longer life, a life soon to include his first grandchild.
"I should be done with the chemo and bone marrow transplant by spring, that little girl arrives in mid-March, we'll hop in the car, drive down I-35, take a right at Des Moines and head over to Omaha and hold my first grandchild," Boyd says. "That's a pretty cool thing to look forward to on the other side of this."
If there's one takeaway in all of this, it's that Boyd is a Wisconsin farm boy at heart. When the sun comes up, he goes to work. So don't think for a second you won't hear his voice, or watch his next great story.
We invite you to observe the power of Boyd's storytelling through the volumes upon volumes of stories he's conducted across every corner of Minnesota.
You can do so, here.