Growing Bolder, WKMG Local 6, MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando Team Up for Second ‘Surviving & Thriving’ Special

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Stories feature men and women overcoming obstacles and offering hope, inspiration and possibility; special returns April 19 on WKMG Local 6.

This is reality TV with a positive purpose. Surviving & Thriving will make you believe that anything is possible.

Real people, real stories, real inspiration. Surviving & Thriving returns to WKMG Local 6, featuring new tales of incredible men and women who overcome the type of obstacles no one escapes -- cancer, tragic accidents, career and relationship setbacks and more and who not only survive but thrive in the aftermath.

“This is reality TV with a positive purpose,” says Marc Middleton, President of Bolder Broadcasting, the company behind Surviving & Thriving. “We are committed to producing shows that are not only entertaining but also empowering. Surviving & Thriving will make you believe that anything is possible.”

“Surviving & Thriving” is produced by the team behind the nationally syndicated“Growing Bolder,” with support from WKMG Local 6 and MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando. This second special in the series airs in prime time on Friday, April 19th at 8 p.m. and is hosted by Wendy Chioji, a longtime Central Florida anchor, breast cancer survivor and Ironman athlete. WKMG Local 6 anchors Lauren Rowe and Gaard Swanson join Chioji as co-hosts and Middleton and Bill Shafer, Executive Vice President of Bolder Broadcasting, are contributing correspondents.

“Our WKMG family has been touched recently with a cancer diagnosis to traffic reporter Jessica Sanchez,” says Skip Valet, President and General Manager of WKMG Local 6. “Surviving & Thriving is a great opportunity for us to reach out to the community and help spread the word that there is always hope. That, with the help of one another, nearly every battle can be won.”

Stories in this special include:

Nancy Freeman

Attorney Nancy Freeman was already on the road to health -- she’d committed to cutting out processed foods and being active. So when doctors told her she had colon cancer that had spread to her liver and was terminal, she was in shock but still had hope.

Sandy Scott

73-year-old Sandy Scott is known as a superman on a bicycle -- a world champion athlete and inspiration to cyclists of all ages. But a devastating crash during a time trial about a decade ago nearly killed him. Today, he’s shattering records not only in his age group but beating competitors half his age, and he’s stronger and more positive about life than ever.

Tony Handler

Imagine being told that you have six months to live. Doctors gave Tony Handler that grim outlook when they diagnosed him with cancer -- but that was nearly 25 years ago. Since then, the 74-year-old has survived seven types of cancer and 17 surgeries but has also crossed the finish line in more than 220 triathlons. His message? Don’t ever give up.

Rowdy Gaines

This 3-time gold medalist for the U.S. Olympic swim team and Central Florida resident says the fear of failure is what keeps most of us from becoming all that we can. He shares his secret for success and why he believe in the power of passion.

“Our mission statement is to inspire hope through extraordinary care,” says Dr. Mark Roh, President of MD Anderson-Orlando. “Hope is critical because it creates energy and opportunity for patients. I truly believe that attitude -- emotional state -- is half the battle. Surviving and Thriving is a healthy dose of hope.”

To share your stories of “Surviving & Thriving,” visit

To meet the inspiring individuals of Surviving & Thriving, like our Facebook pages:

WKMG Local 6:
Orlando Health:
MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando:

About Bolder Broadcasting Inc.

Bolder Broadcasting is among the world leaders in active lifestyle content creation and delivery across multiple platforms. Its products include the “Growing Bolder” TV show, which is currently in its third national season and airs on more than 590 public television stations; the “Growing Bolder” radio show, presented by 90.7 WMFE-FM; the “Surviving & Thriving” TV show, currently airing on WKMG Local 6; Growing Bolder Magazine and a network of community websites, anchored by

About WKMG Local 6

WKMG Local 6 is one of the foremost television stations in the Central Florida area. Serving nine counties, WKMG Local 6 provides award-winning daily-newscasts, in-depth investigations, local entertainment and network programming to the community. Local 6 has received numerous accolades for their work including the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award and multiple Emmy and Associated Press awards. The station signed on-air in July 1954 making it Central Florida’s first television station. Owned by Post-Newsweek Stations, Inc., a division of the Washington Post Company, WKMG Local 6 is Central Florida’s source for CBS. Local 6 serves the public through the Good Neighbor 6 community outreach program, bringing important, life-saving information to Central Floridians through special events and programming. Additionally, Local 6 exclusively broadcasts RetroTV, which brings viewers all their favorite television classics. Visit for continuous updates on local news, weather & sports.

MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando

MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando, part of Orlando Health, is affiliated with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked MD Anderson Cancer Center as the top cancer treatment center in the U.S. and has ranked it as one of the top two cancer centers for the past 13 years. Orlando Health, a 1,983-bed community-owned, Florida not-for-profit organization established in 1918, annually serves nearly 2 million Central Florida residents and more than 4,500 international patients. More information is available at

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Jackie Carlin
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