"Gabby Cabby" comes to Shelby
by Barbara Simonetti
and news broadcaster Pete "Gabby Cabby" Franklin
will be in Shelby Feb. 18-20. |
Area residents will get a real treat
when internationally-known Pete Franklin, the "Gabby
Cabby" will be in Shelby Feb. 18-20 doing a series of
benefit events for KSEN broadcaster Jerry
Proceeds from the events will go to
Puffer, who was diagnosed with cancer of the bladder in
November of 2002, to defray his medical and travel
Franklin's daily news broadcasts and
commentaries about life in New York City from the
perspective of a cab driver are listened to by over
300,000,000 listeners in 71 countries around the world.
His show can be heard on KSEN Radio Thursdays at 4:30
Puffer and Franklin met when Puffer did a
series of interviews with him while he was a broadcaster
in Philadelphia. They became friends, and although the
two have only met in person twice, the friendship has
lasted over 15 years.
After Puffer found blood in
his urine in 2002, he went to his physician, Dr. Robert
Clary, at the Marias Healthcare Center.
Clary saved my life," said Puffer. "He got me in for
testing within days, and had the tumor removed within
two weeks. If he would have just brushed it off, I would
have brushed it off, too.
"He's a great doctor and has been a
good friend to me. We're very fortunate to have someone
like him here in Shelby," Puffer added.
Puffer was first diagnosed with cancer of the bladder,
he wanted to keep his illness a secret. Over time, he
decided to go public in order to make others aware of
the risks associated with bladder cancer.
wants to make sure other people get checked for bladder
cancer," said Pastor Fred Brown, of the New Life
Community Church, who is helping to organize the
Puffer is being treated with immuno
therapy, a series of treatments that instill minute
amounts of tuberculosis directly into his bladder for
several hours at a time. They are both expensive and
forms of cancer.
are powerful-and expensive. Puffer travels to the Mayo
Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for treatment, at
$2,500-3,500 per session. In 2004, Puffer had six
treatments in the spring, and another two in December.
He underwent two more treatments in January, and has
another three scheduled in February.
to his listeners at KSEN is evident, but his radio
persona is only one aspect of his
"Jerry gives back to the community
in his radio broadcasts," said Brown.
Puffer is a
walking oxymoron, according to his friends. He's
extroverted and strong on the radio, and quiet,
intelligent and introspective in person.
sit down and talk with him about theology or Plato, and
he's very intelligent," said Brown. "He's an enigma
wrapped up in an anomaly."
Getting to know a very
private man isn't easy. "Having cancer has humbled him
to open his life to other people," said Brown. "He's
very guarded, but he's learning how to open up for
himself and other people," Brown added.
sum him up in one word: Personality," said KSEN General
Manger Julie Martin. "He can be very quiet, but he also
has a funny side. He's a combination of all good things.
He comes across on the radio more boisterous than he
truly is, and he's not how people think he'll be. He's a
kind and gentle man."