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Here at MNB, we appreciate people with a strong work ethic.

So it is worth noting that Roger Ebert, the longtime film critic for the Chicago Sun Times and former host of a movie criticism television show that existed under various titles, announced yesterday that a recurrence of cancer means that he'll be cutting back a little bit on his workload.

Last year, Ebert wrote more than 306 film reviews, a couple of blog posts a week and a bunch of other articles. All this from a man who can no longer speak - he has had cancers of the thyroid and the salivary glands and lost his lower jaw in assorted surgeries.

Ebert wrote on his blog that "at this point in my life, in addition to writing about movies, I may write about what it’s like to cope with health challenges and the limitations they can force upon you. It really stinks that the cancer has returned and that I have spent too many days in the hospital. So on bad days I may write about the vulnerability that accompanies illness. On good days, I may wax ecstatic about a movie so good it transports me beyond illness."
KC's View:
I do MNB about 230 days a year, so I have some small appreciation for what Ebert has accomplished and continues to accomplish. After I see a movie and write about it for MNB, I often will then go read what he said about it ... I learn from doing so, because I'm interested in what he saw and reacted to and how it differed from or was similar to my experience. Even when we don't agree, I find myself caught up in his enthusiasm for the art form, even when he's disappointed by the execution.

And so this morning, as Ebert embarks on what he calls his "leave of presence," I thought it was worth saluting a guy who has always gotten it done, and who continues to get it done, even under the toughest of personal circumstances.