After more than eight months on the missing in action list Kansas City Star television critic Aaron Barnhart has resigned his post at the newspaper.
In a letter to the staff Star editor Mike Fannin put things this way:
“Having mixed emotions is a cliche, but in this case wholly justified,” it begins. “In the last few days Aaron Barnhart got a clean bill of health from the medical staff at the National Institutes of Health where he has been undergoing experimental treatment for a particularly rare kind of hairy cell leukemia. Wonderful news. Coming out of that experience and looking toward the future, Aaron, our television critic and media writer for the last 15 years, has determined that he will move on to a different life plan and the proverbial other things, including some interrupted book projects he and his wife, Diane Eikhoff had been working on together.”
After a couple resume graphs, Fannin’s letter goes on to add:
“Aaron, no surprise, has a few words to add to this announcement:”
“First let me say how grateful I am for all the cards and emails of encouragement sent in the past few months, messages I have read and re-read,” Barnhart’s canned quote begins. “Thank you as well to everyone who protected my privacy during this long healing process.”
Barnhart’s comments go on to thank the Star and explain his relief in not having “to fear the kind of debilitating relapse that sidelined me for much of the past year.”
So there it is at long last, confirmation of the obvious – that Barnhart’s cancer had recurred – coupled with the curious spin on why somebody with his medical history would walk away from a paycheck and health benefits in the prime of his careers with the longstanding cloud of cancer hanging ominously.