Former Indianapolis TV Anchor Dead at 53 from Rare Colon Cancer, Shared Heartbreaking Final Message

"Time. Good health. Those are our only true commodities," Tanya Sumner's final Facebook post read in part, according to WRTV, her former workplace

<p>Facebook</p> Tanya Sumner


Tanya Sumner

A beloved former news anchor and local politician in Indiana has died.

Tanya Sumner, who went by the name Tanya Spencer on-air, died in her home on Saturday, May 24, at the age of 53, two years after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in 2022, according to her former employer, Indianapolis ABC affiliate WRTV.

Before her death, Sumner shared a heartbreaking yet inspiring message for her loved ones.

“Time. Good health. Those are our only true commodities. Our only true currencies that matter," her final post read in part, per WRTV.

Sumner spent two decades in broadcast journalism, with 10 of those 20 years at WRTV before she left the industry to pursue her political dreams, the outlet reported.

Related: N.Y.C. Anchor Ruschell Boone Dead at 48 Due to Cancer Complications: 'Friend and Mentor to Many'

Throughout her career as a local politician, Sumner served District Three on the Whitestown Town Council.

"The town of Whitestown has lost a dedicated leader who will leave a void in all our hearts. Vice President Sumner wasn't just a dedicated councilwoman, she was ingrained in our community and cared deeply for her family, friends, neighbors and colleagues," Whitestown Town Manager Katie Barr said in a statement to WRTV. "Her love for this community was infectious and will be sorely missed."

Sumner is survived by her husband and a teenage child.

<p>GoFundMe</p> Tanya Sumner


Tanya Sumner

By the time she died, Sumner's rare form of colon cancer had metastasized throughout her body from her colon to the lining of her abdomen, wrapping around some of her organs and eventually spreading to her liver and lungs, per a GoFundMe campaign created by Sumner's friends before her death to help her pay her medical bills.

Sumner tried treating her cancer with chemotherapy and drugs, which didn't prevent the disease from spreading.

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Amid her cancer journey, she became a health advocate, encouraging people to get colonoscopies at the recommended age of 45.

"If you could imagine me finding this grapefruit-sized tumor 6 years earlier — we would be having a different conversation. Yeah it's (a colonoscopy) uncomfortable, it's unpleasant. No one wants a colonoscopy but get the thing. Get it at 45," she advised in 2023, per WRTV.

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