WREX Anchor Jeannie Hayes Dies Two Days After Leukemia Diagnosis

WREX anchor Jeannie Hayes died Thursday from complications from leukemia, just two days after she was diagnosed with the disease, Mediabistro reports. She was 29 years old.

Hayes was hospitalized at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, Illinois when doctors diagnosed her with an aggressive form of leukemia.

Hayes had been a producer and anchor for WREX’s weekday noon newscast, as well as a host and producer for 13 Cares, a community talk show that ran Sunday mornings. She had also been a co-host of the morning radio program on B103.

The station wrote on its website Thursday:

“The WREX family says a tearful goodbye to a longtime co-worker and friend.

Jeannie Hayes passed away at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center late Thursday night. Jeannie’s illness was quick, she first learned she had leukemia this past Tuesday, but because of complications her fight was short.

Originally from Granger, Indiana near South Bend, Jeannie graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee and got her first job with us at WREX in 2005.

Jeannie Hayes leaves behind her parents and two sisters. She was 29 years old.

Out of respect to her family and Jeannie, WREX will air tributes to Jeannie this evening on 13 News starting at 5:00 p.m. The pictures, stories and memories are endless, so we will try to compile the best in the way that we know Jeannie would want us to.

We also invite you to share your stories, pictures, other thoughts, and prayers on her Facebook Fan Page.”


According to NewsBlues, Hayes had been diagnosed with a bladder infection Monday. She called 911 the next day after her condition had worsened. Doctors diagnosed her with leukemia and performed an emergency surgery Wednesday which caused her to fall into a coma. She passed away the next day.