Mayor Kelly Boyd stunned the City Council audience by announcing that he is battling multiple myeloma, a form of bone cancer.
“Fortunately, it’s at stage two, and I have no intention of stepping down from this dais,” he said, as a compassionate audience rose in a standing ovation this past Tuesday.
Boyd, re-elected to a second four-year term in 2010, said he doesn’t intend to miss having a hand in shaping new council initiatives, such as a skateboard park, a view ordinance and the village entrance. “I’m going to be a part of every one of those items, and I want to see ’em done this year, if we possibly can,” said Boyd, who underwent six weeks of consultations and testing by an oncologist.
“Kelly, we are with you 100 percent and look forward to serving with you for a long time,” said newly elected council member Robert Whalen.
Boyd, whose family traces its roots to early homesteader Joe Thurston, last year experienced a rash of health setbacks, including fractured ribs and vertebrae, as well as bronchitis. Illness forced him to skip several council meetings last summer and he began pulmonary and respiratory therapy in the fall. In an interview with the Indy in September, Boyd dismissed rumors about cancer, saying the tests showed no evidence of it.
In recent month residents noted that Boyd looked better and healthier. Perhaps a contributing factor was also the sale last November of the Marine Room Tavern, the downtown watering hole that Boyd operated for the past 25 years with his late brother Bo.
On Wednesday, Boyd sounded upbeat even though he admitted he’d just undergone his first chemotherapy treatment that morning. Two more are scheduled for next week. Treatments will be ongoing, the frequency determined by blood tests to monitor his progress, he said, adding that he has received “a lot of great support,” since the diagnosis.
Prior to the public announcement, Boyd shared his news privately with friends on Sunday.