Reporter battling rare bone cancer fired while on medical leave
A beloved Tennessee news anchor has lost her job amid her battle with a rare form of pediatric bone cancer, the Times Free Press reports.
Alex George, a reporter with Chattanooga's WTVC, a local Sinclair Broadcasting Group-owned ABC affiliate, first broke the news about her diagnosis on-air in early May.
"I’m going to be taking a medical leave," the 22-year-old told viewers, choking back tears. "I have a malignant tumor so I'm going back home to Philadelphia for treatment to kick some cancer butt and come right back here."
While George was at home with her family, fighting her bitter battle, the Chattanooga community rallied in support of her, raising thousands of dollars for her treatment and organizing a run in her honor.
She was even voted as the Best Columnist/Reporter in the Times Free Press' annual "Best of the Best awards" in September — the same month she found out she was finally cancer free.
Unfortunately, in December, amid her ongoing treatments, George received news from her supervisors that the company would be terminating her contract six months early.
George took to Twitter to inform her loyal fans about her departure, writing in a series: "I wanted to share that sadly I will not be returning to work at WTVC. It was not my decision and I had hoped to come back to Chattanooga to continue telling your stories. I cannot begin to express how grateful I am for all the good wishes and prayers y’all have sent….A piece of my heart will always be with the people of Chattanooga."
George, who said she was "looking forward to going back" to WTVC, told the Times Free Press that she was "disappointed, shocked, and hurt" by Sinclair's decision.
"I'm disappointed but have to focus on getting better," she added.
A spokesperson for Sinclair issued the following statement on the matter:
"Sinclair and the WTVC family will continue to pray for Alex’s recovery, and we wish her and her family the best,” the statement noted. “While these situations are never easy, we believe that our long term disability policy is extremely competitive and reflects our concern for our employees who become ill or suffer from other issues."