Profile of Jeelu Billimoria, US television journalist

Jeelu Billimoria: producing value

jeelu billimoriaThis weekend on New York television, one of the most senior and influential South Asians working in U.S. television showcased her skills once again. Jeelu Billimoria is a member of SAJA (South Asian Association of Journalists) and winner of more major TV awards than any other journalist from this region. Her annual breast cancer special, which was telecast on Saturday, October 4, 2003, on WABC-TV, is a NY institution since she started producing them in 1995.

Below is a short write-up about her by SAJA's broadcast outreach coordinator, Hari Sreenivasan, and an account of her outstanding series on cancer.

This SAJA broadcaster has been in the business since 1977 and has the
awards to prove it. From a start in Philadelphia, to brief stints with the
McNeil-Lehrer Newshour hour (PBS), she's made her home at WABC-TV for the last 14 years. Her projects have earned her 8 Emmy awards, 6 Gracie Awards, AP & Gavel awards and a Columbia DuPont Citation.

As senior producer of special projects, she has a rare opportunity to work
on long form (half hour/ hour) pieces at a local station. In the NY area,
you can watch Jeelu's work through the annual "Protect our Children" and
"Breast Cancer" Specials (which she Executive Produces) on WABC.

Billimoria began producing Breast Cancer Specials for ABC-7 in '95 after
her sister-in-law passed away of the disease. Ironically, she herself was
diagnosed with it in 1999.

She's in good health, has two daughters and lives with photographer
husband, Elliott Kaufman, on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

This article was written as a project on the SAJA-Broadcast mailing list.

Breast Cancer: Road to Recovery

WABC-TV, Saturday, October 4th, 7:30-8 pm
Host: Diana Williams

An ABC-7 Special focuses on alternative and complementary treatments that are helping breast cancer survivors on the road to recovery. While surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are invaluable tools in the fight against cancer, more and more women are discovering that the healing process can also be speeded up with proper nutrition, exercises such as Yoga and fly fishing and touch therapies such as acupuncture, reflexology and massage.

Each year Americans spend more than $34 billion on complementary and alternative therapies and many of these are marketed specifically to
people with cancer. Recognizing the enormous public interest, the American Cancer Society has commissioned studies on these and while the therapies may not help to fight the cancer, they can certainly help the
patient to feel better while recovering from more mainstream medicine and it's effects.

This special is part of ABC-7's continuing commitment to the Making Strides against Breast Cancer Campaign of the American Cancer Society which is celebrating it's tenth anniversary.

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