INside Story

Randy Ollis opens up about battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3Part 4 | Part 5

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Randy Ollis stands at the green screen in the WISH-TV studio. Like every morning, he’s taking viewers through his weather forecast. 

Hoosiers have relied on Randy and his predictions for almost four decades. In April 2017, a storm ripped through that he never saw coming. Randy was diagnosed with large B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

Diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or DLCBL, can be “localized” to one spot or “generalized” and spread to areas throughout the body. Randy’s was localized to the lymph nodes in his neck.

DLCBL is one of the most aggressive and fastest spreading cancers. If Randy did nothing, he was told he’d be gone in a year. With chemotherapy and radiation, the cancer is highly treatable. Randy remembers the day he was sitting in the exam room. His doctor turned to him and said, “You worry about the weather. I’ll worry about your health.” 

Despite those reassuring words, Randy said it was the most difficult day of his life. 

“I remember we walked out of his office to the parking lot,” Randy said. “My wife and I, the tears were flowing because we didn’t know what the future held. We thought I may be gone in the next year. The emotions when he said ‘you have cancer’? Everything turns on a dime. All the things that you thought that mattered now. Sports or bank accounts or whatever it is, Facebook. It doesn’t matter anymore. You have cancer.” 

Nobody wants to hear those three words, but Randy is a man of faith, and he put his faith in God.

“I always say that God is in control of people’s lives and that’s what got me through. I had people praying for me all over the state and my faith and family really got me through it,” Randy said.

There was also someone else who got Randy through it: legendary News 8 anchor and friend for over three decades, Dave Barras. 

“Everytime I went through a chemo treatment, he’d stop by and see me at the hospital. Every time. He’s like a brother to me,” Randy said.

By sharing his story, Randy hopes it will help others. 

“It gives me a chance to show people we’re just like them too. We all go through our trials in life. It also gives me a chance to share my faith and that’s really how I made it through. I always say that. Faith, and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He’s real in my life. He gave me the strength, endurance, and the courage to get through it,” Randy said.