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Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh choked up on air Wednesday delivering a heartfelt message to his listeners in his last broadcast of 2020.
Limbaugh, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in February, explained how he likes to reflect at Christmas on what he is thankful for.
“I have very much that I want to say to all of you today, and I’m feeling very pressured — not pressured. I’m feeling stage fright kind of thing. There’s so much I want to say, and I want to say it correctly,” Limbaugh said. “I want to convey my feelings, and I want to do it right. I want to do it to the best of my ability.”
Limbaugh detailed how his diagnosis of stage 4 terminal cancer in January shocked him.
“Well, back in late January when I received this diagnosis — and I was shocked,” he said. “I was stunned, and I was in denial for about a week. I mean, I’m Rush Limbaugh. I’m Mister Big of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. I mean, I’m indestructible. I said, ‘This can’t be right,’ but it was.”
“What I didn’t know at the time that I learned later in the course of the year was that I wasn’t expected to be alive today,” he said. “I wasn’t expected to make it to October and then to November and then to December — and yet here I am. Today I’ve got some problems, but I’m feeling pretty good today. God’s with me today. God knows how important this program is to me today, and I’m feeling natural in terms of energy, normal in terms of energy, and I’m feeling entirely capable of doing it today.”
The conservative powerhouse spoke of the immortal words from baseball legend Lou Gehrig, who died from what’s now dubbed Lou Gehrig’s disease: “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”
Limbaugh explained that he finally understands how sincere Gehrig was when he made such a remark, and how he feels the same today.
“I didn’t understand that,” he said. “I mean, here’s a guy who’d just been diagnosed with the most terminal of terminal diseases, and I said, ‘This can’t be real. He can’t really think he’s the luckiest guy in the world. This is just something that he’s saying because it will play well.’ I don’t mean to be insulting Lou Gehrig; don’t misunderstand. I’m just saying, how in the world if you’re being honest, can you feel like you’re the luckiest man on the face of the earth?”
“I’ve been totally supported by virtually everybody in my family. I’ve been propped up. I have been defended. I’ve been made to look better than I am. My lovely wife, Kathryn, has done so much in that regard. … So many people have put me first in all of this, and I understand now what Lou Gehrig meant, [because] I certainly feel like that. I feel extremely fortunate and lucky,” Limbaugh told his loyal listeners.
“And because I have outlived the diagnosis, I’ve been able to receive and hear and process some of the most wonderful, nice things about me that I might not have ever heard had I not gotten sick,” the host offered. “Again think, how many people who pass away never hear the eulogies, never hear the thank-yous? I’ve been very lucky, folks, in I can’t tell you how many ways.”
During Limbaugh’s last hour of the show, an emotional caller expressed to the host that he views Limbaugh as a father figure in his life.
Limbaugh underscored how he could not sufficiently express his gratitude to the caller and to all his listeners, and noted that at some point, he will be off the air.
“I wish there were a way to say it other than ‘thank you,’” Limbaugh closed. “You’re just the best. My family is just the best. Thank you. Merry Christmas, everybody, from all of us to all of you.”
Following the show, call-screener and producer for Limbaugh, Bo Snerdley, posted: “The best Christmas gift in the world for those of us at EIB is that [Rush Limbaugh] is here celebrating it with us and with YOU in this wonderful, incredible audience who support Rush and us with your love and prayers. We thank God for you and [Rush Limbaugh].”