WASHINGTON (AP) — Leroy Sievers, a National Public Radio commentator who turned his battle with cancer into a popular and touching radio and online series, has died from his disease. He was 53.

Sievers died Friday at his home in Maryland, NPR announced Saturday in a statement.

He was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 2001. In 2005, the disease returned as a brain tumor and lung cancer.

A report on his own chemotherapy treatments in February 2006 was broadcast on "Morning Edition" and prompted an enthusiastic response from the audience. It eventually became a regular series and feature on the network's Web site.

Sievers worked as a journalist for more than 25 years, including 10 at CBS News and 14 years at ABC News Nightline, four of them as executive producer. He covered more than a dozen wars and was embedded with Ted Koppel to cover the Iraq war.