JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It was an emotional Sunday morning as anchor and reporter Corley Peel said goodbye to viewers and co-workers after five years.
But the moment was made a little more special by a surprise TV appearance by Corley’s twin sister Chelsea, who made the long trip from Texas to support her.
Corley chose to step away from News4JAX in order to spend more time with Chelsea, who is battling stage-4 lung cancer.
“It’s crucial I be with her,” Corley said.
Corley said her sister has been going through treatments for the past couple of years, and the diagnosis was a shock to her family because she has never smoked and the cause is unknown.
In the last segment of Sunday’s morning show, following goodbyes and a highlight reel of Corley’s stories she has reported on during the previous five years, Chelsea emerged from backstage in a surprise that brought tears to Corley’s eyes.
“Oh my gosh!” said Corley, clearly shocked. “I am so happy you’re here!”
“I felt like I had to be here,” Chelsea said. “Thank you so much for everything you’ve done to support me, leaving such a great place like this to come support me. I couldn’t ask for a better sister.”
Chelsea and her mother made the last-minute decision to fly in from Texas earlier this week to be there with Corley on her difficult last day.
Chelsea and Corley said they will now get the chance to live together in the same city and reconnect for the first time since their college days at Texas Tech University.
Corley has said the decision to leave News4JAX and the Jacksonville area has been hard.
“I am forever grateful for my colleagues, the community and viewers,” Corley wrote in a goodbye post. “Thank you to everyone who spent some of their darkest days trusting me to tell their story. You will forever be in my heart.”