Reporters have a tough job. They have to trot out their lines effortlessly in front of a camera, maintaining their poise and professionalism no matter what.
Because they’re so terribly visible, a lot of people feel the freedom to say what they want about them. It’s not uncommon for somewhat cynical viewers to comment on things that they shouldn’t.
Many reporters get comments on their looks, people judging their appearance or “calling them out” about their weight.
For Victoria Price, a reporter with WFLA-TV in Tampa, Florida, a viewer’s comment potentially saved her life. She was doing a segment on COVID-19, but a message she received afterward had nothing to do with the virus.
“Hi, just saw your news report,” the message began. “What concerned me is the lump on your neck. Please have your thyroid checked. Reminds me of my neck. Mine turned out to be cancer. Take care of your self.”
The swelling is barely noticeable in the news video, but the eagle-eyed viewer spotted it and cared enough to write in. Price saw what the viewer was talking about, went to get the lump checked out and was diagnosed with cancer.
“Turns out, I have cancer,” she posted on Twitter on Thursday. “And I owe it to one of our wonderful @WFLA viewers for bringing it to my attention.”
“‘8 On Your Side’ isn’t just a catchphrase at WFLA. It’s our cornerstone. But the roles recently reversed when I found a viewer on MY side, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
“As a journalist, it’s been full throttle since the pandemic began,” she continued. “Never-ending shifts in a never-ending news cycle. Adjusting to remote workflows and in my case, taking on a new investigative role. We were covering the most important health story in a century, but my own health was the farthest from my mind.”
“Until a viewer emailed me last month. She saw a lump on my neck. Said it reminded her of her own. Hers was cancer. Turns out, mine is too.”
Price went on to explain that she will be having surgery, and will be taking some time off work to recover. The tumor, her thyroid and several lymph nodes will be removed.
The reporter also found out that the cancer is spreading, but her doctor is hopeful that this single procedure will take care of everything.
“Had I never received that email, I never would have called my doctor,” Price continued. “The cancer would have continued to spread. It’s a scary and humbling thought.”
“I will forever be thankful to the woman who went out of her way to email me, a total stranger. She had zero obligation to, but she did anyway. Talk about being on your side, huh?”
Price also shared a screenshot of the segment the viewer wrote in about, pointing out the slight bulge along the side of her throat.
“It’s not super obvious unless you know what to look for,” she commented. “This screenshot shows it a bit better. I’m still learning but doc explained that the tumor is in the middle of my thyroid, pushing the glands up and out, hence the subtle protrusion.”
Thankfully Price was able to get cancer treatment started right away, all because of a viewer’s comment. The reporter also encouraged readers to remember to take care of themselves and others in these crazy times.
“The world is a tough place these days,” she concluded. “Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Take care of each other. Love y’all and see you soon.”
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