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Jim Donovan, 3News sports anchor and 'Voice of the Cleveland Browns,' to go on medical leave as treatment for leukemia continues

'I truly appreciate everyone's support,' Donovan said. 'I promise I'll be a listener, and I'll be back as soon as I can.'

CLEVELAND — Earlier this year, Jim Donovan — our longtime sports anchor here at WKYC Studios and the play-by-play voice of the Cleveland Browns — revealed that he is again battling leukemia.

Following this afternoon's Browns-Bengals game, Jimmy announced that he will be going on medical leave from WKYC and his Browns Radio Network duties as part of the next step in his treatment. However, Jimmy will anchor Monday's "Front Row" on 3News to recap the Browns-Bengals matchup prior to starting his leave.

"In addition to my teams at WKYC, the Browns, and of course my wife (Cheryl) and daughter (Meghan), I have an amazing group of doctors and caregivers at University Hospital’s Seidman Cancer Center and I truly appreciate everyone's support," said Jimmy.

Temporarily handling play-by-play duties on the Browns Radio Network will be Chris Rose, being joined by regular commentators Nathan Zegura and Je'Rod Cherry.

"I promise I'll be a listener, and I'll be back as soon as I can," Jimmy declared Sunday.

After being diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in 2000, Jimmy began a decade-long battle with the disease that ultimately resulted in a bone marrow transplant in the summer of 2011. Since then, he has been closely monitoring his condition.

About a year and a half ago, Jimmy said he noticed something was amiss with his health. "My concerns were confirmed to me and it was told to me that I had a relapse of leukemia," he said this past May.

As he began a more aggressive treatment plan earlier this year, Jimmy decided to announce his leukemia relapse once his hair began falling out.

"The goal is: got to get better, got to get healthy, got to move on. I know the deal, I've done it before, and I plan to do it once again," Jimmy explained. "Through all of this, I will be here at Channel 3 and on the radio as much as I can be, but there will be periods of time that I might not be with you, maybe for a day, maybe for longer."

Jimmy says he has "total confidence" in the medical professionals who are handling his case at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center. "They have done an amazing job for many, many years treating me and I am ready to put my case in their hands again."

A graduate of Boston University, Jimmy first arrived at WKYC in 1985. In addition to his work here in Cleveland, Jimmy called NFL games on NBC for 11 seasons and also handled play-by-play for several events during the network's coverage of the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics.

In 1999, Jimmy was named as the radio "Voice of the Cleveland Browns” and is now in his 25th season behind the microphone.

“We hope to have Jimmy back as quickly as possible. We know he'll want to tell more stories and call more games later this fall," said Micki Byrnes, WKYC Studios president and general manager. "And everyone is welcome to send him their best wishes at getwelljim@wkyc.com ."

We love you Jimmy, and we can't wait to have you back on the air soon.

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