Dawne Gee announces leave of absence to handle medical challenge

Dawne Gee announces leave of absence to handle medical challenge
Published: Oct. 27, 2014 at 9:01 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 29, 2014 at 9:11 AM EDT
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Dawne Gee at age 6 (Source: Family photo)
Dawne Gee at age 6 (Source: Family photo)


has announced that she will take a leave of absence of several weeks to undergo and recover from surgery for kidney cancer. Dawne shared a special message about her illness with viewers live during WAVE 3 News on Tuesday, October 28, her last day on air before her surgery.

"I have a new tumor. I grow tumors easier than most folks can grow tomatoes," said Dawne with her trademark laugh and positive attitude. "This time it is a slow-growing renal cell carcinoma. I will have about a third of my kidney removed, and my recovery time is expected to be four-to-six weeks."

[SLIDESHOW: 20 things you don't know about Dawne Gee]

In 2009, Dawne underwent a risky operation to have a benign brain tumor removed, a story she shared with viewers shortly after the surgery. She has had numerous other medical issues and surgeries over the years.

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Dawne, who recently signed a new contract with WAVE 3 News, is a tireless advocate for the community, spending countless hours raising money, items and awareness for numerous causes that are important to her and the Louisville area. With that in mind, and knowing that many viewers will want to do something to help during her recovery, Dawne sends the following message:

"My passion is my paycheck, so not being at work is like asking me to lay down part of my heart. During my time away there will be many projects near and dear to my heart that I'm sure will go on without me, but I must put in a personal request to this community to jump in and help my WAVE 3 family help others. 

We have a project called Spread the Gloves, emphasis on LOVE. We need gloves, mittens, hats, coats and any winter wear to protect our children in need while on their way to and from school.

[SPECIAL SECTION; Pass the Cash]

Angel Tree will soon be filled with the names of children who will need our help at Christmas!

Then there is A Recipe to End Hunger. I have given all my time and money to kick this program off to feed our children in food insecure homes. One of every four children here in WAVE Country lives in a food insecure home, which means they have no idea where their next meal is coming from or when their next chance to eat will come. When you are hungry, you can't think of anything else! How can children focus on solving a math problem or being a positive force in the community when trying to ignore the persistent pangs of hunger? A Recipe to End Hunger will fund the two programs in our community already set up to feed children in food insecure homes, Blessings in a Backpack and Dare to Care's Backpack Buddy, but they are not getting enough financial support to feed them all. In November, I will debut Kentuckiana's
A Recipe to End Hunger Cookbook featuring recipes from local and national media, including folks like Dolly Parton, Jennifer Lawrence, Al Roker, Matt Lauer, Muhammad and Lonnie Ali and personalities from every television station in Louisville. Head to arecipetoendhunger.com to learn more about our efforts and the fun we have planned.

My job does not begin and end at the news desk. I love what I do, and I love this city. I know that the response will be great. We all belong to one another. I belong to you whether you want me or not. Be kind to each person you meet because you truly don't know what they are going through. I've been sick for some time, but I put a smile on my face. That is harder to do when someone greets you with rudeness and disrespect, not that anyone did that to me, but we do it to one another every day. As I think about my own mortality, I want to make sure I do my part to change the world for the better.

For the December 2013 issue of Today's Woman, I was asked to write a letter to my young self. I would never do that because I'm not one to look back and regret and wish for change. So I wrote the letter really to anyone who has a chance to learn just how blessed -- even during trials and tribulations -- we really are. I hope you will read my letter and later count your blessings. I can't fit any more blessings in my pocket, so I try to share as many of them as I can. Please share my letter to my 6-year-old self if it resonates with you, and look for me to come back to WAVE 3 News very soon."

Dear 6-year-old Dawne,

Every day is special. So, don't wait to wear your favorite shirt or use your pretty plates until you think the day is special enough. We are promised nothing in this life -- not even the next day. Every day is special, and the tragedy is not using something too much, but not using it enough and wishing you had.

The days are long, but the years are short. Embrace every moment as if it were your first love. Make sure you let everyone you love KNOW IT! Don't pay attention to those who make fun of you because your heart is big. Better a big heart than a big mouth with nothing good to say. You are here for a purpose. Live it! Embrace it! Life is only as good as you make it, and you only get one. But if you do it right, one is enough.

"I'm not done, but I'm done for a while. Please continue to help me spread and create good news!"

Dawne expects to return to WAVE 3 News to continue the work she's passionate about sometime in December.

You can wish her well via




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