Former Evergreen Newspapers publisher Brad Bradberry spent his last months on Earth working to launch a magazine for people suffering from the very disease that took his life. In recognition of Bradberry’s remarkable courage, optimism and generosity of spirit, the publishers of Easy Living Magazine have dedicated the latest issue of their glossy quarterly in his honor.
“For what it’s worth, I’d planned to dedicate it to him for a long time,” says Kim Willprecht of Easy Chair Media, the outfit that publishes Easy Living. “I just never told him. I don’t know why.”
In fact, Willprecht’s association with Bradberry, though certainly cordial, was fairly limited.
“I’d heard a lot about him from a friend who works at the Canyon Courier, and I wanted to meet him about possibly cooperating on some projects for Easy Chair. He was just a lovely man, and after lunch he offered me a job. I think he was joking, but it looks like I’m working for him now.”
Willprecht’s admiration for Bradberry, who died on Dec. 16, last year, is apparent. But her connection to the lifelong newspaperman transcends mere friendship. At about the same time Bradberry began his losing battle with colon cancer, Willprecht got her own dose of bad news.
“I was diagnosed in May 2006,” she says. “I had a foot of my colon removed, but now I’m home free. I was extremely lucky.”
The ordeal prompted Willprecht to launch Butt-Check.com, a rapidly growing organization devoted to preventing colon cancer deaths through screening and early detection. She’s since garnered support from a host of notables, including CBS News anchorwoman Katie Couric, who lost her husband to colon cancer, and Jefferson County Sheriff Ted Mink.
“Ted Mink is my No. 1 Colorado ambassador,” Willprecht says. “Down at the sheriff’s office, people say, ‘Here comes the butt-chick’ when they see me coming.”
Last year, Willprecht dedicated an edition of Easy Living (then titled Easy Chair Magazine) to women and featured five colon cancer survivors, herself included. The magazine reaches nearly 100,000 homes along the Front Range.
“This year, I immediately thought about Brad. He’s the real reason I’m doing a men’s issue. I think I was supposed to meet with him, somehow. He’ll always be in my mind.”