LETTER: Employer Lays Off Employee After Cancer Diagnosis, Plea for Fundraiser Going Viral


To help Carol, please click on this page: “Bumper’s Buddies

The Beaver Countian has followed up and wrote:

The handwritten letter attributed to Dr. George Visnich Jr., an oral surgeon with offices in Aliquippa, Chippewa, and New Castle, told the woman she was being laid off from work.

“The symptoms of the disease, the pain medications you will need and the side effects of the chemotherapy will be significant and distracting,” read the letter in part. “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.”

Carol’s sister Joyce made photocopies of the letter and began handing it out to people. Her friend Rose Lerini published a picture she took of the letter to Facebook where it went viral.

“She had been working full-time for this man for over 12 years,” said Smerigan. “He didn’t even call her, he hasn’t even called her once since she got sick.”

The Beaver Countian was unable to reach Dr. Visnich to discuss Carol Jumper or the letter. “Dr. Visnich is unavailable today, he is in surgery all day,” said a woman who answered the phone at his office. She declined to discuss Jumper or take a message seeking comment from the doctor before hanging up the phone.

A copy of the Dr. Visnich letter also found its way to the Celtic-Reds Athletic Club in Aliquippa, where it now hangs prominently on a wall.


Last night, a letter from an oral surgeon to an office assistant was posted on social media, and in a plea for help, the letter is starting to go viral.  The letter that was posted to Facebook stated:

Dear Carol,

You are currently engaged in a battle against cancer that will be demanding physically, mentally and emotionally.  The symptoms of the disease, the pain medications you will need, and the side effects of the chemotherapy will be significant and distracting.  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 firth this horrible disease.  Thanks for your time at Visnich Oral Surgery.  I hope your battle is swift, smooth and successful!

As Always,

A friend of Carol’s, Rose Lerini, wrote the following plea.

My friend, Carol, had a stomach ache for a few days. Her partner made her go to the hospital. It turns out she has cancer. So while she struggles with her treatment, she got a letter from her employer.

Please share this.

Spaghetti dinner fundraiser for Carol
October 4
Croatian club
2365 Mill Street
Aliquippa PA


When reaching out to Rose Lerini, Carol’s friend who posted the original photo with the date of the fundraiser, Rose explained that Carol is in her mid 40’s, engaged and set to get married next year.  To help pay her bills, Carol held two jobs, and instead of pestering or bothering the employer who wrote this letter, Rose would prefer people to send letters of encouragement to Carol and, if possible, attend the spaghetti dinner on October 4th in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania.  The dinner runs from 3:00-7:00 PM and the prefered admission is $10.



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60 Comments on LETTER: Employer Lays Off Employee After Cancer Diagnosis, Plea for Fundraiser Going Viral

  1. Has this been validated by a reliable source? The letter itself appears to be fake. Has the doctor been contacted for his or his office’s input? Or was only one side of the story researched? This screams of fraudulent misrepresentation.

    • My parents know Carol. I can assure you that the letter is not a fake. She does have cancer and was most certainly let go from her job. Utterly dispicable!

        • Calling him a jerk because he seeks the truth? Where’s your head? Furthermore, where is the validation you mentioned in all capital letters? People posting anonymously on the internet claiming to know Carol is not validation. I’ve read a couple articles about this letter, so far I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest it’s fake, but I still haven’t seen any proof it’s real.

          • Scott, I talked to people about this letter before I published it. At the time I thought that it was real, and plenty of local sources have validated it’s authenticity.

    • I know this Lady and saw the original letter, believe it, it is true. Carol is a very good lady and did not deserve this. What a scum to write something like this.

    • I am with you Matt, and anybody that calls someone a jerk for for asking a reasonable question needs to think with their head instead of their heart. I see nothing about lawyers getting involved, and I see nothing about attempts to contact the doctor. Simply spreading something on the internet and taking it as set in stone truth is extremely irresponsible. We are getting one side of the story and expected to react. Some people are reacting and that’s pretty sad. I can write a letter exactly the same and spread it on the internet. Does it make my story true? No.. Save your reactions until it’s been investigated properly.

  2. I also believe it’s real. I know Carol worked for him for over 12 years and now that she is sick he let her go?? It looks like his paper work to me.

    • I’m not insinuating that it’s fake, but the article says they don’t want people to contact the employer, they just want donations. That’s at least a red flag.

  3. Carol is a fabulous person, she has often dedicated her time & energy to those in need including my family. She deserves the support of our community (in my opinion) praying for you Carol !!

  4. I wish i could say this letter and story is fake because that would mean that my beautiful friend Carol would not be in the biggest battlte of her life. There are a few discrepancies in Rose’s account that I would like to clear up. Carol is 51 years old. She was employed by this oral surgeon for 12 years. She is born in February and has 2 sisters and a brother. Her fiance and her have been together for 14 years and they became engage last summer. They are planning a wedding for October 2015.
    Carol has not felt well for months but due to not having sick time or medical benefits she could not go to the doctor. When Obama care was introduced Carol was able to obtain medical benefits. I might also advise you that Carol also suffers from diabetes. But when Carol didn’t work, Carol did not get paid.
    Carol’s employer never spoke to Carol prior to writing her “pink slip”.
    This was all based on hearsay. I talked to her the very day she received it and was sick for the rest of my day.
    “Carol’s Campaign” was started under my very own roof. We had about 11 people at our first meeting. 2nd meeting about 20, tonight’s meeting is still not happened to report our attendance.
    Golf outing and spaghetti dinner are October 4,2015. We are having a raffle for a cash prize which is determined on Friday October 31st by the first drawing at 7pm of the Pennsylvania daily number. We currently have 1000 tickets which were donated out there being sold.
    So Mr Expert at fake letters, i hope this clears things up for you!

      • My wife left this world for paradise in 1999 after getting the same bad news. For my wife the road was short 3 months from day of diagnosis. To hell with this cold hearted Dr. Your friend needs to concentrate on her loved ones and her estate if any. Although the battle she is in will be lost of the body her soul if given to Christ will live with him in paradise without judgment and free from bodily pain. My prayers to her her family and you

  5. a cancer patient on chemo is unable to work. the dr. did this woman a favor by giving her time, and enabling her to collect unemployment before she probably ends up on disability.

    • A FAVOR? Poor choice of words. He could have given her a severance for having been there for 12 years, and a few months of cobra health insurance. The only positive is that she was covered under government insurance, at probably a minimal salary a reasonable premium, so her treatments- will they be covered for the most part? Is there an account set up for her contributions at a local Credit Union or bank?

    • You are 100 Percent WRONG, my wife has Liver & Colon cancer and is on Chemo and she is still working, this asshole Dr. Did NOT do her a favor, My wife’s boss is still paying her for 40 hrs a week even though she only works about 20 to 25 hrs a week and it is a very small company she works for, It the owner and only 4 other people, That’s what you call doing a favor for someone!

  6. She needs to file for unemployment ASAP. The letter clearly states she is being laid off. If you need help with this let me know. As awful as the letter is, at least she will have somewhat of an income while she battles this awful disease.

  7. I have been to Dr. Visnich and while being a good oral surgeon .. that doesn’t mean anything on a personal level …
    I kind of have to agree with the person who said that maybe he was laying her off so that she WILL be able to collect disability and insurance through the state ..and have an income of some kind while fighting this horrible disease .. that is what the tone of part of the letter came across to me .. however I think that the wording of such a letter could have been done better and the sentiment could have been done different, as to not come across as this did..having had Cancer touch so many members of MY immediate family I send all my prayers and positive thoughts to Carol and her family and friend .. God bless and watch over you ! 🙂

    • Maybe a heart to heart conversation to see how she feels about it. I know of people who were out for treatments, and aftercare then returned to work as they were able. They went on the company disability insurance. Paper documentation could follow if she agreed and chose to accept the full lay off. He is heartless and has no couth. I have not seen any rebuttal from the ‘less than a man’. What goes around, comes around.

  8. I have my doubts as to the validity of the story but I’ll assume it’s true. I wonder if it was done as a favor for her so she could cost unemployment. But if that were the case, why would she make it go viral?

  9. She may be abke to apply for disabity, but will not be able to get unemployment if unable to work during treatment. In order to collect unemployment you must be willing and able to work, and actively seek work. Poor lady. I hope she can collect disability.

  10. I agree the letter was meant so the woman could get unemployment and disability, it going viral is just an ignorant attempt for them to make money for their spaghetti dinner / golf outing @via maggie post above. Im all for donating to a cancer patient in need but not slandering someones name and business in order to benefit. Sure the Dr. could have written the letter a little nicer, but how else would she gain income during chemo treatment while she obviously unable to work and in need of unemployment compensation

    • Seriously???? Research your facts!!!! She can’t receive unemployment if she is unable to work due to her illness. You have to be “able and available” for work to receive unemployment compensation. I hardly think this letter was posted just to solicit money for a spaghetti dinner, you weirdo. People don’t post stuff knowing it’s going to go viral…it just kinda happens. It’s not slander, it’s a fact. Maybe the doctor should have spoken to her instead of writing a letter!

  11. always two sides to a story… the letter was bad but i think using this letter to make money on a Spaghetti dinner is worst… fuck your meat balls !!!

  12. Obviously this man has no compassion nor does he give a damn about his employees. Nice! Shame on you Dr. Visnich! Some kinda Dr. You are.

  13. I would like to correct my inital comment. The spaghettti dinner is Oct 4,2014 at the Croation club on Mill St in Aliquippa PA.
    And Carol had nothing to do with this going viral. Read the post again!
    For those of you that have offered your support “Carol’s Campaigners” thank you!
    Oct 4th 3-7pm.

  14. Something about this story smells. I think the Doctor was trying to help her but will be hurt for his help. no person could be that uncaring that is a doctor or human being

  15. Anyone Close To Carol Needs To Help Get By Looking Up ThE Federal ADA guidelines. Cancer Patient Fall Under This Protection So Therefore, This Is Discrimination And They Need To Contact The Local Labor Board And The Americans With Disabilities

    • Exactly why he worded it that he was laying her off – and ignorant people think he was doing her a FAVOR. He worded it that way for no other reason than to attempt to protect himself because it would be discrimination, for one thing, if he’d simply fired her for having cancer – which he essentially did.

  16. I can’t believe some of these incentive people on here. If you don’t have anything positive/nice to say DON’T. I lost my husband 16yrs ago to this awful disease, who said she can’t work, that Dr. didn’t even have the professionalism to talk to her face to face about this. I fell you have a nice big law suit ahead of you, it is called Discrimination. First off you should of been offered Medical LOA and it sounds like to me you have not. I can go on and on but I won’t. You need to get an attorney now and go from there.

  17. can’t believe some of these incentive people on here. If you don’t have anything positive/nice to say DON’T. I lost my husband 16yrs ago to this awful disease, which he worked up to a month before he passed away, even after doing chemo for 5 hrs 3 times a week. Who said she can’t work, that Dr. didn’t even have the professionalism to talk to her face to face about this. I feel you have a nice big law suit ahead of you, it is called Discrimination. First off you should of been offered Medical LOA and it sounds like to me you have not. I can go on and on but I won’t. You need to get an attorney now and go from there

  18. I read most of the comments here and hope to bring some good to what I am reading and not be unhelpful. Most employers that fire cancer patients are not doing so for the good of cancer patients but their own greed. I am one of those cancer patients that got kicked to the curb by my CEO two days before my mastectomy even after making an agreement to retain my employment. I applied for unemployment and my employer tried to appeal it and lost. However as some people pointed out in the posts. Unemployment has certain criteria you have to meet and when I started chemo it was unrealistic that I could meet that criteria. I did apply for disability which is being reviewed now. The first point I would like to make is being fired by an employer for having cancer is illegal although in this country of laws employers are getting away with it everyday. Is this a scam ??? I think not… unfortunately I have personal experience with it myself. My friends and family wanted to do fund raisers for me as well, but I have not let them pursue it. When people surround someone with cancer and love them like the people posting for this person do they want to help in a positive way. Support it for them if you feel led….don’t if you are skeptical but please do not add to their heartache. This stuff happens more than you know and I applaud them for taking action and trying to do something positive with their pain and for their loved one.

  19. Has anyone considered setting up a GoFundMe page for this woman to help with medical care and living expenses since this d-bag fired her?

  20. I will be praying for Carole and her family. You can set up a fund for her through go fund me. That way people can send donate if they can’t make the dinner.

    • Deborah (and all),

      Several people have asked about how to contribute to a fund for Carol. My understanding is that her fiance is working on that and I expect to hear from him soon. As soon as we get information about that here, I will post it. In the meantime, friends of Carol’s have set up a Facebook page called “Bumpers Buddies,” as a sort of clearinghouse of information about the upcoming spaghetti dinner and other fundraisers. As of this post, the page has over 300 members and more information is added daily. Here is the direct link to the page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/649588211823566/

      I have to say that it is encouraging to see so many people asking how they can help. Thank you and continue to spread the word.

  21. Your story has made it to Michigan, I had to lay off a secretary related to lack of work. Like Carol, she had been with us a long time.I spoke to her face to face, explaining why the lay off. We gave her 6 weeks notice, 6 months severence and 6 months paid COBRA coverage. Right is right. The Doctor handled that poorly and ,in my opinion, it gives question to his character as a person and professional.

  22. Disgusting PIG!! My father worked EVERYDAY through chemo and radiation so it is ignorance to immediately assume she cannot work. Shame on him and any of you who excuse his behavior!

  23. I do know Carol from my best friend and she also worked for this Dr. I know the letter is true because if you know carol and the Dr. he is just an _ss hole

  24. She needs to apply for social security disability insurance asap. That will entitle her to enroll in medicare which may have a lower premium than her obamacare.

    My dad was a solo practitioner in western PA for decades. His small staff not only had full benefits; He set up and managed his own pension plan for him and his small staff. He worked monster hours to provide for everyone. He was not a surgeon. He was an internist who concentrated on cardiology. By the time he retired there was several million dollars in the. Pension fund for his former employees. And when his nurse got mono when i was in college, he did not replace her. While she recuperated, my dad trained yours truly to take blood pressure, ekgs, and Xrays, which I did for six weeks until his nurse recovered. How tragic that a man of medicine is so lacking in compassion.

  25. I was told that it was stated in our local paper that Carol has stated that he wrote the letter to help her get unemployment and she asks to please stop posting it

  26. I am grateful I do not live in this community and would have to rely on this doctor if these services were ever needed. What a jackass!!!! Yeah, the stress of NOT having an income is going help her fight her battle-NOT!!!!

  27. I had a thought that made me sick to my stomach: What if he saw her as an old, tired out, sick model and just wanted to replace her with a younger, more vivacious, attractive model? Some men are really like that.

  28. While it may be true that she could not work fulltime as the illness and chemo progressed, the bottom line is that he should have at least met with her face to face, shown some compassion, and discussed some kind of disability and/or unemployment options. this doctor has really screwed himself from a PR standpoint. no compassionate person is going to use his services now if they have a choice.

  29. http://www.nydailynews.com/…/woman-fired-pay-telling…

    “But the oral surgeon’s attorney, Larry Kelly, said the whole controversy stems from a misunderstanding and that his client actually did a “humanitarian thing.”

    Visnich laid off Jumper so she could collect unemployment benefits while receiving treatment, “with the understanding that when she is feeling better, she can come back to work,” Kelly told the Beaver County Times.

    Her friend, John Barkovich, told the Pennsylvania paper that Jumper isn’t concerned with Visnich or the letter — she has other priorities right now.

    “She’s in a fight for her life,” Barkovich said.”

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