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Surgeon fires assistant without pay over 'distracting' cancer diagnosis after 12 years of devoted work

Cancer diagnosis

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(NaturalNews) Fifty-one-year-old Carol Jumper had recently fallen ill for a few weeks. Her fiancee rushed her to the nearest emergency room to their home in the Hopewell Township of Beaver County, Pennsylvania.

Soon after, she was diagnosed with cancer affecting her liver, ovaries, and pancreas. And soon after that, she received a registered letter from her employer of over 12 years stating that she was being fired without pay. Here's most of that letter:

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.

Oddly, the letter was printed by hand on Dr. George Visnich, Jr.'s letterhead stationary that exhibited all three of his dental offices, two in Beaver county, a rural area just northwest of Pittsburgh, and another north of Beaver County. Dr. Visnich is an oral surgeon. Carol had been an office worker under him for over 12 years.

The letter went viral and caused a flap

Carol's sister made copies of the letter and handed them out to friends and neighbors. One of them, Rose Lerini, posted the letter on her Facebook page, and another local person and family friend, John Barkovich, started a Facebook fundraiser called "Bumper's Buddies." At last count, there were over 700 members.

The fundraising activities include "Bumper Buddy" T-shirts for sale, a golf outing and a spaghetti dinner fundraiser. Updates on her condition are part of the package. From Facebook, it went to the Beaver Countian online edition and then viral to online versions of The Beaver County Times and the UK's Daily Mail. As a result, orders for T-shirts have arrived from 10 different states and emails from the UK are asking how they can donate.

But the internet also created a huge flap with people from all around commenting mostly vitriol at Dr. Visnich. Many also harassed Visnich's offices by phone, as the letterhead copy that went viral contained all the information needed to contact his three offices. Calls to boycott the three dental offices were included in the comments.

The other side of the story

The Visnich family lawyer, Larry Kelly, said the doctor and his family are upset because they're made out to be villains while trying to be helpful. According to Kelly, the purpose of the letter was to make her eligible for unemployment compensation, which is normally not available for those laid off for medical reasons. Most states require that able-bodied applicants keep looking for work.

But even a few BeaverCountian.com comments mentioned, with references, that Pennsylvania's unemployment compensation laws do allow people laid off for medical reasons to be compensated. The rules do vary from state to state. And attorney Larry Kelly claims Dr. Visnich has not officially refuted Carol's unemployment claims.

"Dr. Visnich was trying to provide [Ms. Carol Jumper] with an opportunity to take some time off without having to worry about her job duties and responsibilities," said the attorney. "What is happening now from the standpoint of work is in her best interest. She doesn't have to worry about going to work, she still has a source of income, and she can concentrate her efforts on getting better."

Carol had previously enrolled in Obamacare, so her basic insurance coverage to undergo expensive, toxic, worthless treatments that almost everyone considers the only way to handle cancer is intact.

Carol's friends and fundraisers say that Carol and her fiancee want the flap with its attacks on Dr. Visnich to die out. Carol doesn't need to be embroiled in any hostilities now.

Sources for this article include:





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