Bill Castrovince holding up daughter

Former WOUB sports student Bill Castrovince celebrates 10 years cancer free

Posted on:

< < Back to

Castrovince graduated from Ohio University in 1994

ATHENS, OH – When someone decides to pursue a career in journalism, one of the most important tools they have is their ability to communicate clearly. Bill Castrovince never had to worry about that skill. He honed his craft as a sports broadcaster while he was an Ohio University student working at WOUB Public Media. Communicating well was always something that came naturally to him – until one day in 2011.

“At the time I was working as an anchor and reporter for Classic Teleproductions near Cleveland on a TV program called High School Sports Insider. I had just gotten engaged on a gondola in Venice, and life was really good,” said Castrovince. “But I started to notice that there were times when I couldn’t connect my thoughts. The last time it happened, I was getting ready to go on the road to see my favorite band, Pearl Jam, in Toronto. I stopped at work to do something before we left. My fiancé started asking me questions, and I could hear her, but I couldn’t respond. Eventually I snapped out of it. But she wanted to go to the hospital for me to get checked out. I thought I had a stroke. The doctors ran tests and eventually told me there was a tumor in my brain.”

Doctors told Castrovince that he had a malignant brain tumor called a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) near his delicate speech area, with only a 50/50 chance of surviving 15 months.

“So, then I knew we had to get it out, and we scheduled surgery. Needless to say, I didn’t get to go see Pearl Jam,” said Castrovince laughing. “What I found out after the surgery was that doctors told my fiancé, Carolyn, and my parents that they thought I might not be able walk after the surgery. They thought it would do some physical damage. What actually happened was that the tumor and its removal affected my speech. The brain is amazing in how it makes connections to allow you to speak. After the surgery, the connections weren’t made yet, and I had to do a lot of work for them to reconnect here and there.”

But the connections never returned fully. And for someone who makes a living talking on television, it was very difficult.

“The people at Classic Teleproductions never gave up on me. Mike and Deb Bacon and all my co-workers were so patient with me,” said Castrovince. “Sometimes it would take me hours to record a small segment. I’d have to do it over and over and over again, and they supported me.”

During our interview, Castrovince struggled to find words. He said that’s a normal part of his daily life now.

“My speech still sucks,” said Castrovince with a chuckle. “But it’s gotten so much better.”

The summer after his surgery, Castrovince got married. Eventually he and his wife had a baby girl, Olivia. Castrovince recently celebrated 10 years of being cancer free, and he is truly grateful.

“Even though my speech improved over time, I never got close to going back to what I was in my broadcasting career. Things were getting much better, but I still had a long way to go,” said Castrovince. “So, a few years ago, I decided to leave television and be a stay-at-home dad. While it was a tough decision to end a long career that had started during my days at WOUB in Athens, I knew it was time, and I am just so thankful to be alive and married with a daughter. I never thought I’d be able to get married or have a child on that day in 2011 when I learned about the tumor. Every day is a gift.”