A woman was fired from her job after receiving a cancer diagnosis, and now, people from all over are defending her.
Carol Jumper found out she had cancer on her ovaries, liver and pancreas last month, and her fiancé Dennis Smerigan said the symptoms had been going on for some time.
“She just couldn’t sleep at night. She would get out of bed and sit in a chair in the living room, that’s the only way she could sleep was sitting up,” said Smerigan. “It went on for 2 or 3 weeks, you don’t really think anything of it at first. I was cleaning out the bed of my truck one day and she came out. She said, 'You got to take me to the emergency room.'”
After testing, Smerigan found out she had cancer, and a week later, her life changed once again.
“It was about a week later she gets this registered letter delivered at the house,” said Smerigan. “I was pissed when I read that letter. No kind of man sends a letter like that.”
Jumper’s boss, Dr. George Visnich, reportedly wrote the letter saying that because of her diagnosis, she could no longer work for him at his office, even though she had been with him for over 12 years.
“The symptoms of the disease, the pain medications you will need and the side effects of the chemotherapy will be significant and distracting,” reads part of the letter. “You will not be able to function in my office at the level required while battling for your life. Because of this, I am laying you off without pay as of August 11, 2014. Your last paycheck will be mailed to you this Friday, 8/15/14.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you fight this horrible disease," the letter ends.
Since she was fired, the letter she received has started to spread all over. Jumper’s sister made photocopies of the note and passed them out around town, and eventually, a copy went viral on the Internet. Now, her family and friends are trying to support her as best they can by selling shirts and creating awareness online.
“She has no income coming in at all, I am trying to bust my butt for her,” said Smerigan. “A lot of people have been very helpful, it’s unreal.”
Smerigan says that Jumper is receiving ongoing chemotherapy treatment and they are hoping for the best, but he knows that if her health starts to get worse, he will marry her sooner rather than later.
Dr. Visnich has responded to the claims, saying that he laid Jumper off so that she could collect unemployment and actually did it to be kind, not cruel.
Larry Kelly, Visnich's attorney, says that his client did the "humanitarian thing" and fired her "with the understanding that when she is feeling better, she can come back to work."
"That’s the reason the letter was written," said Kelly. "Very disappointing, in that he’s trying to help this woman and he’s made out to be a villain."
Jumper reportedly wants the situation to be over and says she "doesn't have time" to worry about the doctor and how fast the letter went viral as she fights for her life.