Woman who lost hair to cancer can't use old driver's license photo

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FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — A woman who lost her hair after undergoing chemotherapy said the state Motor Vehicle Commission wouldn't let her use an old driver's license photo showing her with long blond hair.

Neptune City resident Joanne Jodry told the Asbury Park Press she went to renew her driver's license last week at the Freehold office and was told she couldn't keep the old photo on her card.

The 53-year-old Jodry was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in April and said it's taken a toll on her appearance.

"Clearly, I am bald and I have no eyelashes and this is a temporary condition," Jodry said. "I said, 'I'm undergoing chemotherapy and I will look very different in a few months.' And I said, 'I'd rather not take a picture. I'd rather use the old one.' They said no."

Jodry said the clerk told her that the MVC computer system wouldn't allow the use of an old photo. However, Jodry said, her 79-year-old mother was permitted to use her old photo when she renewed her license in Eatontown.

Jodry said she and her daughter were emotional after she agreed to take the new picture with her head scarf.

Jodry, a professor of psychology at Monmouth University, said she decided she would limit who knew about her cancer before chemotherapy started. Now, her appearance has made her secret very public.

"Every time I have to show ID, I don't want to look sick. I don't want to look sick in a year," Jodry said.

An MVC spokeswoman said the agency is bound to comply with state law, which requires a new picture every eight years for security purposes.