Anchor Takes Time off to Fight Blood Disease

Longtime WNEM (Saginaw) Anchor Katie O'Mara has taken a leave of absence from the station due to a blood disease.

O'Mara, who has been away from the station since the first of the year, said she has been battling her medical condition for "quite some time and it's chronic."

"Its not cancer, but it keeps me from working," she said through her Facebook page. "As much as I miss being next to Sam [Merrill] and Carrie [Sharp], it's important that I take the time I need to heal."

O'Mara, 47, declined to comment on specifics of the disease, but said it's idiopathic, meaning doctors still aren't sure what's causing it.

She said she was diagnosed with the disease after giving birth to her daughter Rosie eight years ago.

"Things were fine for a year, but have gone downhill in the last four years," she said. "I've had a lot of medical procedures and it has been really difficult. I thought taking some time off would help me heal, but it's still a daily problem."

Al Blinke, general manager of Meredith Corp.-owned WNEM, said the station is pulling for her to return.

"We hope she has a quick recovery and we keep her in our thoughts and prayers," Blinke said. "We're in a ratings game right now and we'd love to have her come back. She's still in all of our promos and is still very much part of this station."