The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

December 24, 2006

MIKE MASTOVICH | An anchor’s holiday blessing

Area sports fans and WJAC-TV viewers certainly wouldn’t fault Tim Rigby if the popular sports director considered himself a victim, someone dealt a tough hand in life.

After all, Rigby was diagnosed with anaplastic lymphoma, a form of cancer, in October – not even two years after he received a kidney transplant resulting from another life-threatening illness.

But Rigby isn’t one to ask for pity.

This Christmas, the 48-year-old Johnstown native and his family consider themselves blessed. In the spirit of the season, Rigby truly believes that his and many other prayers have been answered.

“I never thought ‘Why me?’ the first time around, and I certainly didn’t have that attitude the second time around,” Rigby said Saturday. “I was curious about what caused it. I had faith in the doctors. I felt we could deal with it. My question was: ‘Is it treatable, and is it beatable?’ The answer was yes.”

Rigby has had four of six scheduled chemotherapy sessions, with the final two next month. His physicians told him he is cancer free. Rigby will return to his familiar spot on the WJAC-TV anchor desk on Jan. 2.

“Everything looks good right now,” Rigby said.

That’s good news for the area’s sports scene and Johnstowners in general. Rigby is well-known and respected throughout the region after working at WJAC the past 25 years. He’s been sports’ executive producer since 1989.

Rigby has covered the Steelers, Pirates, Chiefs, Johnnies, AAABA Tournament and the Sunnehanna Amateur over the years. He’s been a “guest” in Johnstown living rooms at 6 and 11 p.m. as the main sports anchor since 1987.

Anyone who’s met him knows Rigby is approachable, friendly and a believer in local sports coverage. When he’s not on the set, viewers notice.

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