Click ... there it is ... the familiar voice booming from my clock radio ... it's 4:30 am. I hit the snooze, snuggle back into the blankets and remind myself that I've got about 4 more minutes of peace!
My workday starts early and that's how I like it. I've always been a morning person and for as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a journalist.
It was a speech class at my Cincinnati-area high school that exposed me to the thrill and challenge of storytelling.
At Miami of Ohio University I studied broadcast journalism and that's where I really began to understand the power and responsibility of television reporting.
Shortly after graduating from Miami, I landed my first TV job - an entry-level production assistant at WSYX-TV (ABC) in Columbus, Ohio.
The salary was lousy, but the experience was invaluable. Working behind the scenes, gave me a nuts & bolts education in how a newsroom and a television station really work. I'll never forget sleeping on the floor and eating pizza for breakfast as we worked around the clock in January 1991, covering the Gulf War.
My first on-air job came in 1993 - I was hired to debut a morning news show on a small TV station in Steubenville, Ohio. Not only was I the anchor, but the producer as well. I even ran my own footpedal-activated teleprompter under the anchor desk!
My stay in Steubenville - just like other early TV jobs - would be short but memorable - I will never forget those early lessons learned.
In 1997, as a newlywed, I was offered an opportunity that would not only change my career, but my zip code, as well. I joined the FOX 2 News team as an anchor and reporter. It was a big market job that allowed me to stay in the Midwest - which pleased me … and my parents! My mother was born in Detroit and my grandfather started a 40 year career at General Motors in the mail room - so I have a real connection to the Motor City.
Since walking in the door at FOX 2, I've had tremendous opportunities as a reporter; covering Pope John Paul II's visit to St. Louis, traveling to Washington D. C. for the impeachment of President Clinton and going to Los Angeles a few times to rub elbows with FOX superstars. (I was even supposed to make it into a scene of Ally McBeal as an extra, but they cut me out!)
After my first child was born in 1999, I discovered so much about myself as a new mom as I voraciously read about raising healthy children in a healthy world. It's with that passion I took on the job of health reporter.
Now, 10 years later, as the mother of 3, I'm still excited to come to work everyday and hopefully, make a difference.
From the breast cancer survivor walking on Belle Isle or the dad who discovers prostate cancer just in time, to the beautiful mom who's finally proud to look in the mirror after losing 100 pounds or the bald baby bravely fighting leukemia ... I'm honored to tell your stories.
My brother is deaf and has cerebral palsy, so I grew up with the intrinsic knowledge that life isn't always fair. We are not all dealt the same hand, but if we have the courage and determination to change what we can ... we have the power to make the world a better place.