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WDAY Sports producer happy to celebrate the holidays after chemotherapy

WDAY's Eric Bunnell was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in the summer of 2022.

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Eric Bunnell finished his last day on chemotherapy on Nov. 7th, 2022.
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FARGO — The holidays are going to mean a lot more for one of WDAY's own, who is celebrating more than Bison victories. Eric Bunnell works behind the scenes as part of our Bison Game Day coverage on WDAY.

It hasn't been an easy year for him. Bunnell has been going through cancer treatment the entire football season but hasn't missed a day of work. He calls it a good distraction.

Bunnell lives for Bison football — working behind the scenes, editing segments for the Bison Coaches Show. But for the last several months, he has spent hours at a cancer center.

"I went like this on my neck and felt a lump that wasn't supposed to be there," Bunnell said, touching his neck.

Last summer, he visited the doctor, but blood work showed nothing.

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"Could this be cancer?" Bunnell wondered, but the doctors said, "'No, I don't think so.'"

Then a CT scan and biopsy gave a diagnosis of Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"When he told me that, I didn't even look at him. I looked right at the wall. I could not believe it," Bunnell said.

He didn't let chemotherapy and the cancer diagnosis get him down. He never missed work.

"The first month was hard until Bison football hit. That is when I turned the corner, because it gave me something to look forward to every week," he said.

In fact, working on the Bison football coverage and Hot Mic with Dom Izzo both helped him through.

"This is what I live for. Producing Hot Mic was a big distraction; Dom was always checking on me ... but for those hours, I could focus on just this and not worry about what was going on inside," Bunnell said.

Recently, he finished his final chemo treatment.

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"It is the best feeling when I rang that bell; it was like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders," Bunnell said.

Radiation is still ahead, but he is ready to face it, and he's ready to be done with it all.

"I feel really good. I wish I had more energy, I wish I had hair, that will come eventually," Bunnell said.

For him, this year's holidays are more meaningful than ever.

"I am just thankful to be here and for all the doctors and family and all the support I got from co-workers and everybody around me, checking in on me but keeping it normal for me," he said.

Donations to help Bunnell and his wife pay for treatment are being accepted at Lend a Hand Up .

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

Contact Email: kwallevand@wday.com
Phone Number: (701) 241-5317
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