For many years Local 12’s Troubleshooter Howard Ain was the problem solver for thousands – those he assisted first hand and many more who benefited from his advocacy through watching his television segments.
And, as it goes in life, you never know when your role will change from the giver to the recipient. You may have heard by now that Howard was battling a chronic kidney disease, and like millions of others across the United States, he was in need of a kidney transplant. (A close friend of mine is among those millions too, and also received a kidney transnplant.) It was only the end of June when his story became widespread news via his longtime employer and just like that, those people who benefited from his work wanted to help.
Many were tested to see if they were a match. Ultimately, his living donor was a producer whose Local 12 newscasts shared his stories for all those years. I’ve known Anita Bray Farrell for a while through social media. I’ve seen her big heart toward animals. Now her generosity has saved a human life, the life of a respected and dear colleague – and friend.
In a news story on Local 12, I saw this conversation:
“Hard to believe that I could get my life back,” said Howard.
“The more I thought about it, he’s helped a lot of people, for decades, literally I think he’s saved some people from financial ruin, and I wanted to pay it back a little bit,” said Anita.
“My biggest fear is that there would be a complication for Howard, not for me,” said Anita.
“I’ve known Anita for years, she is a woman of uncommon grace,” said Howard.
Howard has a little bit of that fear, too, but what do you say to a person that saves your life? (from Liz Bonis)
“You know what she said to me? Because you know, the producers are always saying ‘can I give it a little bit more time, a little more time, my story is going to run a little long’ while she said it’s the first time a producer has ever given a reporter more time, okay I’ll give you more time and it’s not minutes, it’s years,” said Howard.
There is a lesson in here for all of us.
When I spoke with Anita, this is what she told me, “If you are healthy, I would definitely encourage people to do it. It is some time off work, some pain, the testing process is involved but something to consider. Is well worth it to save a life and give something back.”
To learn more about being a kidney donor, please visit this link for the National Kidney Foundation.
CINspirational People is a new feature of Good Things Going Around profiling diverse people of Greater Cincinnati, what inspires them, and what is inspiring about them. Know someone for us to consider? Please submit your idea.
GTGA: What is an accomplishment you achieved that you are proud of?
Sherry: Overcoming my fear of public speaking!
GTGA: Tell us about someone who has been a positive influence in your life.
Sherry: My Grandfather, William Symons, who lived to be 100 years old, embodied the spirit of living life to the fullest, and believed that five words applied to anything worth doing: knowledge, education, curiosity, imagination, and perseverance. His strong work ethics began as a 10-year-old boy working 20-hour days for a grocery store, during the summer. With a boy scout’s handbook, he made his first ham-radio receiver using a “coherer” and 2 electric doorbells. After taking violin lessons, he played in the high school orchestra, and went on to become a Concert Master for Symphonies in Indiana, Illinois, California, Florida, and Cincinnati. Working as a Radio Engineer for WLW in Cincinnati, he witnessed the Flood of 1937. He held a variety of engineering positions for Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, in Munich, Berlin, and other Cities across Germany. He designed and built the first portable sound projector and portable public address system. We have so much to learn from this generation of individuals!
GTGA: What is a motto you live by and why or how has it impacted you?
Sherry: I have quite a few…here are two of them: “In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take” and “Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching.” These resonate with me, because too often people make fear based choices, and if you follow your passions, you’ll be successful!
GTGA: What is your biggest motivator?
Sherry: The passing of time.
GTGA: Tell us about an act of kindness you have done, witnessed or been the recipient of and how that made you feel.
Sherry: A few years ago, I made “care bags” for homeless people, filled with deodorant, toothpaste, razor, crackers, fruit snacks, pudding, etc., and gave some of them to friends and family to keep in their cars for the opportunity to give to the needy.
GTGA: Tell us about what you do and what are some of the reasons why you enjoy it.
Sherry: Having served in the U.S. Army following High School to take advantage of the G.I. Bill for college, and working in the corporate world for 30 years, I’ve been fortunate to follow my passions and have my own company, “Sherry Lachelle Photography”, and am a freelance photographer for Local 12’s online magazine, “Cincinnati Refined”. I also take people on trips around the world as a Tour Director through my “Travel Spirit Meetup”, and help elderly people organize their homes. These are all things I love to do and did them for free before they turned into money-making ventures. If you haven’t heard, Scientists have identified a “travel” gene and I’m sure I was born with it!