Tshirts printed to help raise funds for Carol Jumper
Tshirts printed to help raise funds for Carol Jumper
Tshirts printed to help raise funds for Carol Jumper

People across the county have begun to rally in support of a woman recently diagnosed with cancer after the doctor she worked for apparently sent her a callously crafted letter laying her off because of the diagnosis.

Hopewell Township resident Carol Jumper was diagnosed with cancer last month that is affecting her ovaries, liver, and pancreas.

“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 Dennis Smerigan, the woman’s fiancé. “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.”

Jumper underwent testing and biopsies that confirmed a diagnosis of cancer.

“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.”

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.

“I couldn’t believe that a man could do that after 12 and half years of service,” said John Barkovich, a member of the club who is helping to organize fundraisers for Jumper. Barkovich lost his son to a car accident several years ago and has since helped to raise money for worthy causes like Jumper’s.

Barkovich told the Beaver Countian the Dr. Visnich letter rallied members of their club into action.

A Facebook group called “Bumpers Buddies” was established by Jumper’s friends to help rally the community in her support — it already has nearly 300 members. They are also selling Tshirts at “Lloyds The Running Store” in Beaver to help raise money for the woman.

Although Carol Jumper worked full-time for Dr. Visnich, her fiancé said she did not have employer provided healthcare — the woman was able to get insurance on her own through an Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) health plan.

“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.”

John Barkovich is hoping a spaghetti dinner and a golf outing will raise much needed funds to help with the couple’s practicalities and out-of-pocket expenses, and also to help them get married.

“We were engaged before her diagnosis and we had a date set next year for our wedding,” Dennis Smerigan told the Beaver Countian. “If she starts getting really sick then it is going to happen sooner… it might have to happen a lot sooner. I am going to marry her.”

Carol Jumper started another 3-day round of chemotherapy today and was unavailable for comment.

The Beaver Countian will continue to follow this story and will report about Dr. Visnich’s thoughts on the matter if we hear back from him.

Read Also: Doctor’s Attorney Insists He Was Just Trying To Help His Employee After Her Cancer Diagnosis

How You Can Help

– Orders are now being taken for Tshirts to support Carol Jumper at “Lloyds The Running Store” at 533 Third Street in Beaver. Tshirts are $12 (out-of-towners pay $5 more for shipping). Orders must be placed and paid for in the store by September 19th.

– A golf outing is being held at Shadow Lakes Country Club on October 4th. Golfing is $80 per person and tickets are being sold individually. Event registration is at 9am, tee off is at 10am. For more information call John Barkovich at 724-650-6366.

– A spaghetti dinner is being held on October 4th at the Croatian Center, 2365 Concord St, Aliquippa. Dinner is from 3pm – 7pm, tickets can be bought in advance at the Croatian Center, or from the Celtic Reds Athletic Club in Aliquippa at 2205 Sheffield Rd, for $8 or will be on sale at the door for $10. For more information call John Barkovich at 724-650-6366.

– Visit the “Bumpers Buddies” group on Facebook for more information about Carol Jumper and those rallying by her side.

DrVisnich
photo by Rose Lerini, published with permission

Read Also: Doctor’s Attorney Insists He Was Just Trying To Help His Employee After Her Cancer Diagnosis

John Paul
John Paul is the founder of the Beaver Countian. He reports full-time for the site, specializing in investigative journalism with an emphasis on public corruption.

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Chris Connolly
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Chris Connolly

Wow just wow i know where i will never go for any oral surgery.

Rachellesgram
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Rachellesgram

This isn’t the only reason to stay away from this guy–quack, quack

SarahO
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SarahO

Me either! I’m embarrassed to say he’s from out state. What a loser

Sallieen Hagerty
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Sallieen Hagerty

Outrageously disgusting. To send a registered letter dated with the date 8/11 as her last day….the man is Machiavellian!!

Melissa Stewart
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Melissa Stewart

there is more to this story Shame on her friend for putting this on social media there are other ways of getting money for fundraising and a benefit dinner than ruining someone now the office is getting threatening phone calls what is wrong with people

Concerned Resident
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Concerned Resident

You are a disgrace of a human for thinking that. Read the letter, it’s all spelled out for you. What if that was someone in your family? Would you feel the same way then?

sickofit
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sickofit

The question is, what is wrong with you?

Rice-a-Roni
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Rice-a-Roni

Melissa Stewart, are you implying that he laid her off so she can get unemployment or other benefits?

Gotter
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Gotter

Bingo

Byrum
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Byrum

I use to work in the Unemployment/Employment Office. You have to be physically able to work to draw Unemployment Benefits. Unemployed people are required to look for work while they are drawing Unemployment. She would, however, be eligible for food stamps.

Marcia
Guest
Marcia

I doubt this so-called “oral surgeon” would even have paid into unemployment benefits for employees. Why in the world did he not provide ANY insurance coverage at all for his employees?? He works in the medical field; insurance dollars are what feeds his family; yet, he denies coverage of any kind to his employees!! What this “oral surgeon” did to his employee is beyond outrageous; it is cruel and very unprofessional of him to handle this illness of his 12-year employee in this manner, and the subsequent loss of her job. He is shameful and I hope the community boycotts his business in the future, as he does not care about them either.

Marcia
Guest
Marcia

As I said, he probably did not pay into unemployment insurance and any unemployment dollars would have to come out of his business. Also, one of the requirements of receiving unemployment compensation is to look for other jobs every day you are “laid off”. I’m certain since she has to go through this illness, she may not be able to do this. If people learn she has a pre-existing condition, they may not hire her. Thank God for Obama Care, but now she won’t even have money to pay a small premium thanks to her “wonderful boss”!

NastyWoman
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NastyWoman

Hm…Melissa Stewart the ….dental hygienist? From Beaver? So you work for this POS. Charming.

Karma is not kind, Melissa.

Dom Johnjulio
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Dom Johnjulio

HE DESERVES EVERY FRICKIN CALL. THE CALLOUS GREEDY BASTARD!

Joseph
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Joseph

Melissa, please clarify this. I found this story on Facebook and set about researching it to see if it was true. I was hoping it was false. I wanted to believe that no employer treated his/her employees this way. If there is more to this story please let us all know. Right now this doctor looks very bad and his practice may be in jeopardy once this goes viral.

kris mays
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kris mays

He is a dentist, not a doctor.

Pam Phillips
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Pam Phillips

Jeopardized? I hope every other employee has the ethical courage to walk out and no patient ever darken his door again! Wonder if he’s married? Has his wife seen it if so? Hey, honey, you’re fired because you can’t do your wifely duties!

Leo
Guest
Leo

Ah, I see. You work at this office as a Dental Hygenist, and you know that the office is going to lose every client it has. You’re just trying to protect your job. Sorry, but you should probably start sending out your resume. No matter what you might say, and regardless of the details, the story is out, and Dr. Visnich’s practice will be ruined forever. For a man with a doctorate degree, he really isn’t very smart. In this modern age of the internet, he should have realized this would be all over Facebook in no time. Now that it’s online, his practice will never recover. It’s just a fact. He should probably consider a name change and a new career, and you should start looking for a new job before the Visnich practice goes belly-up. Good luck. But hey, at least you’re getting more warning than the lady with cancer.

Joanne
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Joanne

She should do more than search for a new job. She should search for a soul. Employee or not, this woman is a ghoul.

I only hope Karma’s reputation is well-deserved.

Zoe Brain
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Zoe Brain

Melissa – start jobhunting NOW. In fact, it might be an idea resigning, so you are on record as wanting to disassociate yourself from this practice before it fails. If not, you might have great difficulty finding another job. Run, do not walk. I know you’re not at fault, but you’ll be “collateral damage” unless you publicly disavow this guy. As soon as a prospective employer sees the name “Visnich” on your CV, it will be binned unless you have it on record that you resigned in protest. Good luck.

Bruce
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Bruce

Right! Find another job!! What a fantasy world you live in!! She is “collateral damage” because she has a nasty, vile disease that is trying to take over body. I wouldn’t wish cancer on my worst enemy. I’ve survived my bout but I had a boss who gave me comfort, told me to take as much time as needed, and stood by me. Not so her boss – –

PS: 12 twelve years service and no benefits?

John
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John

Did you even read the article? How can she look for work when she just got fired for not being able to work bc she has cancer?

Kate
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Kate

Bruce and John, Zoe is suggesting that the woman who DEFENDS this dentist (see above comments, her name is Melissa Stewart) get another job, Melissa said there are more facts to the case, but declines to give any. She also doesn’t know how to use punctuation or write a decent sentence. Zoe is suggesting that this woman try to find another job before the practice closes due to her employer’s ignorance and lack of compassion. She is not suggesting that the poor cancer victim seeks employment during her treatment.

Dant
Guest
Dant

The Dr. totally deserves them. What an evil inhuman scumbag.

quiver366@gmail.com
Guest
quiver366@gmail.com

I disagree…. This is the BEST way …the truth….. you ask a question ” what is wrong with people?” but you seem to be defending the doctor… why is that?

kris mays
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kris mays

Doctors are MDs or DOs–physicians; this person is a dentist with an advanced dentist degree

Mary
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Mary

@ Kris Mays D.M.D stands for Doctor of Medical Dentistry…the term doctor is completely correct.

Robert Downer
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Robert Downer

Really??? How dear YOU defend such a piece of crap. To do this to another human being…and to keep working for him AND defend him. YOU are just as nasty as he is. Heck you are worse!! I only hope that KARMA will teach you BOTH a lesson in how to treat someone. And I cant wait for the day his practice is out of business.

Marcia
Guest
Marcia

I cannot believe all other employees did not “walk out” in support of this sick lady; she probably trained them when they came to work there. She needs to “sue” the Doctor. I know of lots of people that have continued to work while they had cancer treatment, etc. Sometimes it is the job that keeps their mind off of their cancer for a few hours a day. Oh, and I really liked the way he stated “without pay”; no severance package or anything at all!! This makes me livid!!

Charlotte
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Charlotte

There nothing but the letter that needs to be said.

rodney smith
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rodney smith

I hope you’re looking for a job, honey. Oh, and I hope any prospective employers aren’t aware that you’ve been on here trying to make excuses for that disgusting piece of filth. You must be one of those submissive type with low self-esteem who gravitate towards abusive, domineering people. Pathetic.

Liza Null
Guest
Liza Null

Melissa Stewart needs some HIPAA Violation refresher courses, I do believe. The State agency that provides dental hygienist oversight can help you with that, Melissa. Please feel free to open YOUR STUPID MOUTH and tell us more – so we can witness you being fined, sanctioned, and possibly prosecuted.

And DEFINITELY out of a job.

Toothless
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Toothless

HIPAA applies to patients, not employees. Heed your own advice and make sure you know what you’re talking about before you “open YOUR STUPID MOUTH….”

Bruce
Guest
Bruce

Boy! Related to that DMD, you say? The both of you seem to left the room when they were handing out the “milk of human kindness”! After that rant, I would caution you not to get sick yourself.

SarahO
Guest
SarahO

WTF Melissa. Let’s hope you don’t get cancer and then get a letter like that. Moron

truly disgusted
Guest
truly disgusted

what was wrong with him!! How cold and unfeeling – did you read the letter. I hope he goes out of business for this. He deserves it for being such a POS!!!

DungBeetleOO7
Guest
DungBeetleOO7

Seriously? Are you that ignorant? Bet you wouldn’t make such a stupid statement if this were about you.

Pam Phillips
Guest
Pam Phillips

Really??? Hooray for her friend! Obviously the people in the office are just glad it’s not them… karma, baby…karma! If they had any ethics, they would walk out themselves and leave that SOB “doctor”!… funny …they call it the hypocratic oath doctors must take… he must have misunderstood it to say “hypocrite”!

Richard Hepner
Guest
Richard Hepner

Melissa: It would seem that George Visnich is the one who is “ruining someone”. Perhaps George will learn not to do things that he might not be proud of when those things come into the light of day.

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

I can only imagine the hate he’s on the receiving end of. I will not call him names or send him hate mail but this letter is shameful. There is nothing written there that shows any level of humanitarian gesture. I’d love to hear more since you seem to know more than the average person does. If there is ‘more to the story’ in defense of this cruelty, please share and if not……why not?

Ellen
Guest
Ellen

Trying to help would be, being layed off with pay and insurance benefits!!!!He should be ashamed. Hope his practice gets ‘layed’ off!!!
This reaction from friends and relatives is about outrage, common decency, and disbelief!!! My God, do you think you can dictate how someone reacts to different circumstances/??

Steve
Guest
Steve

Holy shlt you are evil.

Rose
Guest
Rose

I Cannot believe that you have such a view…..Unbelievable. Have you Ever had anyone close to you with a Terminal illness, I have and this is a Outrage and a Total Embarrassment to the Medical Community (Rightfully so)! Social media is exactly as stated, this Quack Deserves every bit of negative feedback!

One day someone close to you will be affected with a illness and we’ll see just how quickly your story changes. It’s really sad to see emotionless people like yourself. 🙁

Brenda Edwards
Guest
Brenda Edwards

So Melissa, You think what he did was acceptable, but what her friend did is a shame? People never cease to amaze me. How insensitive and careless this world has become. The day’s of love thy neighbor as yourself are long gone. God have mercy on us.

Hugo
Guest
Hugo

Melissa,

Do you really contend that this Dr. Visnich was being “nice” in laying off his 12-year employee, a victim of cancer, without pay, so she could collect unemployment? Are you kidding? How ridiculous your statement is! If the “doctor” cared about his employees at all, he would provide them with health care insurance. What is wrong with people, you ask? You should ask instead what is wrong with your cold, inhuman and uncaring Dr. Visnich!

Actions have consequences, and I feel his action was callous, cold and venal. I believe that “Doctor” Visnich and his practice deserve all the negative consequences that he will get from this heartless action. I hope that he goes broke, as I feel he is an unfeeling, money-grubbing jerk!

Note to overly-litigious attorneys, you cannot sue anyone for saying what they “feel”, think” or “believe.”

Sincerely,

Hugo

cinesimonj@gmail.com
Guest
cinesimonj@gmail.com

There is so much more to the story, that you’ve decided not to share it. Yes, your poor dentist is SUCH a victim.
In that he’s a sociopath who deems himself to be a hero of epic proportions, and can’t understand why kicking a cancer patient when she’s down might impact his business.

Maria Bonn
Guest
Maria Bonn

I am many states away and I just read the story and I want to say If this was my friend I would want her to let the world know what a ——- quack he is . Let me see “you would think it is okay to do that to someone ?” and wouldn’t say word about it just keep in stride and go on. Well you are NO BETTER THEN HE IS. My Mom always said what goes around comes around. Need a real reality check.

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

Your boss deserves as much public shaming as possible. For you to criticize the help this poor soul is receiving is repugnant. We can only hope the Doctor will admit his behaviour was horrible and beg for forgiveness. you should be very ashamed of yourself.

Ann Mckenna-Shope
Guest
Ann Mckenna-Shope

FINALLY! A worthwhile article from the Beaver Countian! Boycott Visnich!

Five-o
Guest
Five-o

“People who live in glass house should not throw rock.”

liljoemama
Guest
liljoemama

I do not live in a glass house but I do know the difference between ethics and correct me if I am wrong but any doctor has to take an oath seems this man forgot his in my opinion
Oh an while we are at it folks, remember when u go get lunch in the fast food places most if not all of them pay no benefits to their full time employees so their med bills are paid for by welfare as for uc and ssa they do not meet their mission statement in any form

Kelly Nicklas Alters
Guest
Kelly Nicklas Alters

This is disgusting. How dare you do this to a woman at such a bad time in her life! As a very experienced oncology RN, I’ve seen many people continue to work full time during their treatments. There are many drugs that we give prior to chemotherapy that prevent nausea completely and also give patients medication to take at home to keep their nausea under control. How can this “doctor” even predict how this woman will do during her treatments…..

kris mays
Guest
kris mays

He is not a “doctor” he is a dentist with an advanced dentistry degree.

Susan Britton
Guest
Susan Britton

Not trying to defend him, but technically he *is* a doctor; a dentist is a doctor who specializes in oral health.

Felicia
Guest
Felicia

I am sorry but you are misinformed a dentist is a doctor. A dentist has to go through 4 years of undergraduate college and then 4 years of dental school. And in case you didn’t know (which you obviously didn’t) dental school and medical school have the same curriculum the first two years. The second two years for dental students are clinic based treating their own patients while medical students are in the hospital doing rotations. If this dentist was an oral surgeon he has completed an additional 6 years of training in a hospital attaining both an MD and DMD. A general dentist has a DMD which is doctor of dental medicine or DDS which is doctor of dental surgery. Both are essentially the same thing but east coast schools award DMD and west coast DDS. I do not agree with what this Dr. did but please educate yourself before making any more false statements.

catsmeow
Guest
catsmeow

Let us all pray for this thoughtless, irresponsible, educated, selfish person. May there be mercy for him at his time of death, he is going to need it, when he meets his maker what is he going to have to say for himself and what he did for mankind. Oh I laid her off because she was “excess baggage”. I do more for animals than he does for an employee.

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

Stick to the subject at hand you guys. Really?

Ginger Sarmento
Guest
Ginger Sarmento

Kris: There are many types of doctors. Dentists are permitted to prescribe medicine…that’s what makes them a Medical Doctor and he is correctly addressed as Dr. Visnich. But why are you wasting time being concerned about whether people call him a doctor or a dentist? The issue here is that this man is so insensitive that he doesn’t even say, “I’m sorry” in the entire letter. And after 12 years of service, adds “lay you off…without pay.” What kind of a scoundrel would be so insensitive? I could never sit in a dental chair behind which this doctor was standing. Anyone who is this insensitive could cause a lot of unnecessary pain to his patients.

Marcia
Guest
Marcia

A dentist is a doctor………

Kat
Guest
Kat

Kelly, my thoughts exactly! Please pray for Carol !