Plain Dealer columnist hosts new WKSU talk show

Britney Beaman

“The Regina Brett Show” premiered Wednesday on WKSU, Kent’s local NPR affiliate, focusing on “finding hope in something as scary as breast cancer.”

With the 2010 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure this Saturday in Cleveland, Brett talked with Nancy G. Brinker, the founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the U.S. ambassador to Hungary. Brinker made a promise to her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would help find a cure for breast cancer after Komen died in 1980. Soon after Brinker started the pink ribbon movement.

“Breast cancer is a disease that happens to the entire family,” said Brinker. Brett agreed. The foundation calls family members co-survivors because of the situations they go through with the patient.

Brett, a cancer survivor, discussed a time when her husband shaved her head for her and she realized how much he loved her.

Sophie Sureau, the executive director of the northeast Ohio affiliate of the foundation, explained how moving the Race for the Cure can be. She gave an image of the part of the race for people recently diagnosed with breast cancer. The recently diagnosed people walk in the middle, towards the front of the survivors and are “surrounded by hope,” said Sureau.

Brett talked with Dr. Lissa McKinley, an assistant dean of students and an assistant professor at Case Western Reserve. Breast cancer attacked McKinley twice since 1996. However, the cancer inspired her to teach rather than practice.

“I was not aware what the burden of a bad disease was on a patient and family,” McKinley said. This realization made her want to teach the need to listen to patients.

A few women called in during the show to talk about their experiences with the disease. Laurie from Doylestown, Ohio, called to simply thank Brinker for the research done by Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Because of this research, Laurie had preventative surgery for breast cancer.

This is Brett’s first talk about many life issues. Every Wednesday at 7 p.m. she will have a new topic based on her book “God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours.” Her book tells about lessons she learned throughout the years and gives inspirational stories.

Besides being an author, Brett is a Kent State graduate and columnist at the Plain Dealer. Her column inspired her book, since it too focuses on everyday life. She was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2008 and 2009 for her columns.

Brett said next week’s topic is families. Anyone can tune in to 89.7 or listen on

Contact Britney Beaman at [email protected].