Cancer patient says she was humilated when she was denied rental car

SACRAMENTO, CA (KCRA) Battling breast cancer since March has taken an emotional toll on Leah Cook, especially after rounds of radiation caused her to lose her hair.

“It makes me feel a little bit low self-esteem,” Cook said.

Putting on a wig has become a normal routine, until Thursday.

“Today, I took the courage to step out and not wear a wig,” Cook said. “And, I really got my feelings hurt.”

She came to the car rental terminal at Sacramento International Airport with her driver’s license, business credit card and Alamo rental car reservation in hand. Cook then handed it all over to the service member.

“He held up my ID and said, ‘Who is this? Who is this?’ And I said, ‘That’s me.’ And he said, ‘No, it’s not.’ And I said ‘Yes, it is. I have cancer.’ And he’s like, ‘No, that’s not you.’ And I took off my hat and I said, ‘See, I have cancer.’

Cook said he then called over a manager — who also didn’t believe her. She then got her daughter Britney Johnson on the phone, who was headed down to San Diego.

“I tried to stay strong about it and fight the tears back, but I couldn’t,” Cook said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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