New Jersey cancer patient says she was humiliated by drivers license photo

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Toni Yates has the story

For a New Jersey woman, the renewal of her driver's license photo turned into an emotional experience and she wants others to avoid the same fight.

Joanne Jodry has breast cancer, and has lost her hair from chemotherapy.

One driver's license picture shows Joanne beaming with health, but one later shows she is now in the fight of her life, diagnosed with stage-2 breast cancer in April.

Chemo has taken her hair, and having to take the license photo has left an emotional scar.

"I don't want to have a picture of myself sick for the next 4 years," she said.

Joanne came to a Motor Vehicles Commission office in Freehold to have her drivers license renewed. She says it was the most humiliating experience she's ever had.

"They told me I had to take a new picture, and I said clearly I have cancer," said Joanne. "I'm doing chemo, and she said that was the policy and that was that."

So, no to using the picture. She says she then had to beg the manager, to wear the scarf over her bald head.

"And I asked the manager, can you accommodate for me. I have cancer, the picture is not going to look like me for ID anyway in a few months without hair," Joanne said. "She said I'm making an accommodation, I'm letting you wear a scarf. I said I'd rather you let me use last year's picture, and she said no."

Joanne's 10-year old daughter Mary watched her mother cry through the process of taking the picture.

"It was upsetting to see my mother cry..when she cries I do too, but then i got mad," said Mary.

We reached out to the MVC, and they said they are required to and are following state law that says drivers license pictures must be refreshed every 8 years.

The spokeswoman also asked us for Joanne's information to reach out to her personally.

Joanne is a therapist, a professor, and a single mother who home-schools her only child so she can make auditions, and realize her Broadway dreams.

This is something she hopes the state will change for others fighting to survive, which she is doing fiercely.

"I'm going to get better. I have this girl..so defeat is not an option," she said.

Related Topics:
healthcancerdrivernew jersey newsphotoOcean Grove
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