Wendy Chioji Biography
Wendy Chioji was an American media personality, a former WESH- Channel 2 News anchor. She died on October 7, 2019 after a long battle with cancer. She inspired Central Florida with her frank account of battling cancer.
Wendy Chioji Age
Chioji was 57 years old at the time of her death.
Wendy Chioji Husband – Mark NeJame Wife
Chioji was previously married to Mark NeJame, an attorney in Orlando, Florida. He wrote on Facebook;
“Early this morning, I awoke to the crushing news that the courageous, inspiring, athletic, beautiful, very cool, smart, fearsome, cat-loving, talented, funny, adventurous, and compassionate Wendy Chioji has passed away. My heart aches. Wendy had battled cancer three times over the last many years and always prevailed. She even won her last battle because over the last 5 years she lived life to the very fullest, never letting cancer, the fear of death, or self-imposed limitations stop her. She DEFIED #DEFY! She climbed mountains (literally and spiritually). She traveled the world and missed nothing. She embraced all that life offered. Let me clarify…she inhaled all that life offered. She lived life on her terms. Always did. When she had enough of tv broadcasting, even though she was a local tv icon, she decided to head out west to Utah to live her new best life.”
We met, fell in love, and were married for a relatively brief time in the early 90’s. Her energy and attitude were amazing even then. We remained true and lasting friends all these years and although life took us on different journeys and paths, she always had a special place in my heart. My heart hurts right now but I know that I was blessed to have had Wendy in my life. I am so proud of her for all the lives she touched and the people she inspired in her life, including mine. Rest in Peace dear Wendy…you certainly deserve it. I will miss you always.”
Wendy Chioji WESH
Wendy joined WESH in 1988 as an evening reporter. She recalled her first report in Central Florida in a story she wrote on the 50th anniversary of WESH-TV.
“I was so nervous on my first story, which was about a road being built and a small business being condemned to make way in Orange County, that I couldn’t remember the outcue. You know, the part where you say. I think it took about 15 takes, but my photographer was very patient. I think I only made him 90 minutes late getting home for dinner.”
She spent two decades at WESH before leaving in 2008. She covered countless stories which included; The space shuttle Columbia disaster; the pope’s visit to Cuba; the Atlanta Olympics after the bombing; the Salt Lake City Olympics; political conventions; presidential visits; and even the time Mel Gibson and Danny Glover came to Orlando for “Lethal Weapon III.”
Together with her team, she won an Emmy for a WESH 2 News special report titled “A Heroin Emergency” and the duPont Columbia award for coverage of the Shuttle Columbia disaster.
Wendy Chioji Cancer
Wendy announced that she had breast cancer in 2001 on a newscast of the NBC affiliate. In 2013 she took to her blog to share that she had been diagnosed with thymic carcinoma, a rare, aggressive cancer that is usually discovered in Stage IV. She announced the cancer had returned once again a year later.
Wendy had a website called “Live Fearlessly,” in the about section she described herself as Cancer Survivor. Triathlete. Livestrong Advocate. Adventurer. Animal Lover. Ex-News Anchor. And maybe, Your New Best Friend. All while trying to make the world a better place.”
She wrote on her website that she was a two-time cancer survivor who survived stage 2 breast cancer in 2001.
“First and most importantly, I am a two-time cancer survivor who’s going for number three right now. I survived Stage II breast cancer in 2001…
In the fall of 2013, I was diagnosed with Thymic Carcinoma, a rare, aggressive cancer that is usually discovered in Stage IV, since there are no symptoms. But I get MRIs every year because of my breast cancer in 2001, and that’s how my TC was discovered in Stage II. I did radiation, chemo, and surgery.
Then, in the fall of 2014, another MRI for the breast cancer, you guessed it, detected recurrence of the Thymic Carcinoma. After weeks of research and hard work by my amazing network of friends and former tv/news colleagues, I am in the clinical trials program at the National Cancer Institute. I’ve advocated for clinical trials much of my adult life and now it’s a clinical trial, and only a clinical trial, that will extend, if not save my life. I appreciate the circularity (?) of that. 🙂”
Wendy Chioji Death
Wendy died on October 7, 2019 after a battle with cancer. Her death was confirmed by her brother Alan Chiogioji on Facebook.
“My beautiful, strong, defiant, bad-ass sister, Wendy Chioji, lost her fight with cancer tonight. From climbing mountains, to participating in triathlons, to traveling the world, she lived everyday to the fullest. She never let her disease stop her from doing the things that she wanted to do. She is my hero, and I miss her already.”
WESH 2 also confirmed her death in a tweet.
— WESH 2 News (@WESH) October 8, 2019
Wendy Chioji Tribute
my darling, brave friend is gone… free of the bonds that broke her body but never her spirit…it is soaring now… Wendy was a barrier breaker in television news…. a journalist of true character and talent who never forgot the human element of the story… love you Wendyl! https://t.co/ufJUGAjori
— claire metz (@clairemetzwesh) October 8, 2019