Local DJ Keeps Positive Attitude While Fighting Two Diseases

By Shannon Davidson

(LOUISVILLE, September 1st, 2004, 4:30 p.m.) -- First, we knew him as a Louisville radio personality, and now we know him as a friend. WDJX's Todd Kelly has been fighting the devastating disease ALS for three years. Now he's facing another serious health battle, but as WAVE 3's Shannon Davidson reports, he's handling it the best way he knows how: with courage and strength.

Todd Kelly -- or "Todd Bear" as friends like to call him -- has received hundreds of Teddy bears from family, friends, even strangers.

"I got this, it was on my car," says Todd as he shows off his latest bear.

The bears are a way for people to show their support for a great person whose gone through so much in the last few years.

"The pain I have now is like someone is stabbing me at a constant stab," Todd says, pointing at his legs. Todd was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gherig's Disease, in 2001. It's affected both his legs, especially his right leg.

The disease may have affected his body, but not his mind and soul.

As the promotions director and weekend DJ for 99.7-DJX, Todd stays busy with work, but he still finds time to participate each year in the MDA Telethon on Labor Day at WAVE 3 Studios.

Todd's number one passion is raising money for the Todd Kelly Foundation through his annual 'Walk To Da-Feet ALS.'

But just when he thought things couldn't get worse with the ALS, Todd was dealt another blow. He was diagnosed with Secondary Bone Cancer.

"Now I have to fight two diseases, and I have to figure out which one's more important. How do you make that decision?" asked Todd.

As hard as it was, Todd made it. He's going to go off his ALS medication and fight the cancer with chemotherapy.

"The down side of the whole thing is that, either way it goes, I could lose my right leg in about 10 months because the damage from the ALS and from the cancer has gotten to my bone," says Todd.

But even that news won't slow Todd down. "If anybody knows me, I'm a goer, so I'm gonna keep going."

And the rest of us will just try to keep up.

The Todd Kelly Foundation has raised more than $100,000 so far for ALS research. The next "Walk To Da-Feet ALS" is Saturday, October 16th. Visit www.tkfoundation.org for more information.

Online Reporter: Shannon Davidson

Online Producer: Michael Dever