Wendy Chioji Bio
Chioji was born in Oxnard, California, but grew up primarily in Silver Spring, Maryland.
She joined WESH in 1988 from Savannah, Georgia to work as an evening reporter. Chioji covered countless stories during her two decades at WESH. 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.”
Wendy inspired so many by truly living fearlessly during her battles with cancer. She will be missed.https://t.co/FrL8ZBDF0T
— Mayor Buddy Dyer (@orlandomayor) October 8, 2019
She won an Emmy award as part of a team that put together a WESH 2 News special report titled “A Heroin Emergency” and the duPont Columbia award for coverage of the Shuttle Columbia disaster.
Chioji left WESH in 2008 to pursue a new life built around her passion for physical fitness and athletics. She later hosted a TV series called “Growing Bolder,” which aired on WKMG-TV News 6.
Chioji was born in 1961 in Oxnard, California. She died in October 2019. She was 57 years old.
Chioji’s former husband is Orlando attorney Mark NeJame.
She went to college at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
WESH 2 Career
She came to WESH in 1988 from Savannah, Georgia, to work as an evening reporter. She recalled her first report in Central Florida.
Chioji covered countless stories during her two decades at WESH. 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.
She won an Emmy award as part of a team that put together a WESH 2 News special report titled “A Heroin Emergency” and the DuPont Columbia Award for coverage of the Shuttle Columbia disaster.
Chioji left WESH in 2008 to pursue a new life built around her passion for physical fitness and athletics.
Death and Cause
Former WESH 2 News anchor Wendy Chioji has passed away following a battle with cancer. She was 57 years old.
Her brother shared the news of her passing Monday night on Facebook.
“My beautiful, strong, defiant, bad-ass sister, Wendy Chioji, lost her fight with cancer tonight,” Alan Chiogioji wrote on Facebook. “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.”
Growing Bolder CEO Marc Middleton posted on Facebook about the death.
“I hurt for Wendy’s family and friends but not for Wendy. She lived more in the past 5 years than most of us will live in 5 lifetimes. Wendy didn’t like to talk about death so we rarely did,” Bolder wrote. “I did ask her on-camera last year if she thought about death and she answered, ‘I think of death almost every day in some form or fashion.’”
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
“I awakened to the heart-breaking news that my friend and former WESH co-anchor Wendy Chioji lost her long, hard FIGHT with cancer. She was a FORCE to be reckoned with and will be sorely missed. She ate pie for breakfast, (literally) climbed a mountain (Kilimanjaro!) and taught us to #DEFY to the very end. ❤️❤️ I will miss you, Wendella!,” wrote Amy Sweezey.
Chioji Advocated for Other Cancer Survivors
Wendy Chioji had a website called “Live Fearlessly.” In the about me 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’s going for number three right now.
I survived Stage II breast cancer in 2001. During the ‘in-between,’ I quit my job as a news anchor at WESH in Orlando and moved to the mountains of Park City, Utah, where I spend most of my time outdoors, skiing, running, hiking, riding bikes, and appreciating every day.
I also completed 5 Ironman distance triathlons (including the Kona World Championship in 2012), dozens of half-Ironman distance races, and lots of shorter runs of every kind. Crossing a finish line for any sport (especially Ironman) is extra special for me as a cancer survivor. It’s one finish line, one more victory after cancer tried to kill me the first time.”
Fast Facts You Need to Know
Wendy Chioji defined resilience.
She not only kept a positive attitude after she was diagnosed, she managed to inspire others.
Her legacy always will.https://t.co/YRPl2MdSEP
— Scott Maxwell (@Scott_Maxwell) October 8, 2019