Ted Koppel Watches Friend Confront Cancer

Newsman's special documents friend's struggle.

ByABC News
January 13, 2007, 8:36 PM

May 6, 2007 — -- For his latest Discovery channel special, former ABC newsman Ted Koppel is tackling a personal topic, how his close friend Leroy Sievers is living with cancer.

Ted Koppel: Here was an opportunity to talk about his cancer, and to do it not interviewer to subject, but friend to friend, to be talking about the ups and the downs.

Koppel [from special]: What's your brain saying? What's your will saying?

Leroy Sievers [from special]: In terms of how far I can go?

Koppel [from special]: How far do you want to go?

Sievers [from special]: Don't know.

Koppel: We all are going out of here wearing a toe tag. None of us is getting out of here alive. But the difference between not knowing when you're going to die and having had a group of specialists say, "You're going to die, and you're going to die relatively soon," is huge.

Koppel [from special]: That fall wardrobe is looming large.

Sievers [from special]: Absolutely, and you know how important that is to me. [Koppel laughs] But when you don't think that's a possibility to all of a sudden have a future again is pretty astouding. It's pretty cool.

Koppel: The doctors gave Leroy anywhere from six to 20 months to live. He will probably, he will almost certainly die of cancer. But in the meantime, he is showing a lot of people how one lives with cancer.