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Susan Bahorich, a WDBJ (Channel 7) reporter since 2004, was off the air for several weeks earlier this year, and talked about cancer Monday night. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Monday, May 6, 2013
For weeks now, people have been complimenting Susan Bahorich’s new hairdo, which makes the TV news anchor feel a little weird. Not because she isn’t used to people talking about how TV reporters look, but because her new 'do is actually a wig.
Bahorich is undergoing chemotherapy treatments for ovarian cancer. As a result, she started losing her hair.
“I’ve been going out in a wig or a hat,” said Bahorich, the weekend anchor and a reporter at WDBJ-TV (Channel 7). “But I didn’t want people to feel like I was keeping something from them.”
Monday, during the 6 p.m. “News 7 at Six” newscast, Bahorich talked about the discovery of a cancerous cyst, her prognosis and treatment for ovarian cancer. The report comes during a “sweeps week,” when news viewing is high and is measured by the Nielsen Co.
“When they asked what stories we wanted to do for sweeps, I said, ‘Well, I know something that has been occupying all my time,’ ” said Bahorich, who has been at WDBJ since 2004.
The cyst was discovered during surgery to remove a large fibroid, a non cancerous tumor. She was off the air for about six weeks during the winter before starting chemotherapy in March. She has two treatments remaining over the next six weeks.
Before her treatments began, Bahorich, 37, who is unmarried and has no children, had some of her eggs harvested, in case chemotherapy causes early menopause.
“I was one of those hard-working women who never worried too much about the future,” she said. “Now, you never know what might happen, so I went ahead and saved some of my eggs, to plan a little bit, just in case.”
She said her prognosis is good. She had no family history of ovarian cancer and no genetic markers before the cancerous cyst was removed. She has missed little work since her treatments started, although she has taken off a little early on days when she doesn’t feel her best.
“WDBJ has worked with me every step of the way,” she said.
WDBJ news director Dan Dennison praised Bahorich for maintaining a positive demeanor in her fight.
“Susan’s situation hits very close to home on many fronts,” he said. “She has handled her cancer struggle with incredible grace and a positive, upbeat attitude. Fortunately, we work for a family-owned company and a television station that always tries to recognize [that] personal trials and tribulations always trump what happens day-to-day in the news.”
Bahorich said she has already received many encouraging emails and comments from friends and viewers.
“People have been so kind,” she said. “This disease just takes too many lives. It breaks down every barrier and can touch any of us.”
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