Rowe was worried she would be among the many reporters who were laid off by the network last month. Instead, she will remain on the sidelines for college football, basketball, volleyball, softball and W.N.B.A. games. She will also keep her health insurance, which has been a vital tool in her fight against melanoma, a skin cancer.
“I was really grateful, because my contract was up in April,” she said. “It would have been so easy for me to be one of those people. For me to have health insurance right now will save my life, financially. This is helping me in my recovery. If this had been taken away, it would have been really hard for me.”
Rowe has been with the network for two decades, and ESPN’s website recently published a first-person essay about her career and her experience dealing with cancer. Lee Fitting, a senior coordinating producer for ESPN, said the network was lucky to have Rowe on the job.
“Holly’s energy and yearlong dedication to ESPN is a testament to her strength and resiliency, all while courageously battling cancer over the last 16 months,” Fitting said. “She is beloved by her peers, coaches and athletes that she interacts with daily, and her creativity and professionalism on everything she touches shines through on our coverage.”
Rowe has remained among the network’s most recognizable faces, and even since her first cancer diagnosis, she has been on the air for some of its biggest broadcasts. She was there when Mississippi State’s Morgan William hit the shot that ended Connecticut’s 111-game winning streak at the N.C.A.A. women’s Final Four. She interviewed Clemson receiver Hunter Renfrow moments after his last-second touchdown catch beat Alabama and clinched the national title.
“She is a genuine person and has a natural curiosity about people, which leads to her being great at her job,” said the ESPN announcer Rebecca Lobo, who…