VIDEO: Cancer survivor says she was refused service by rental car company in Sacramento


SACRAMENTO (CNN Newsource) — A breast cancer survivor is getting a ton of support on social media after she says she was humiliated while trying to rent a car.

The incident started when she put on a wig and went to the Alamo car rental desk at the Sacramento airport.

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 having low self-esteem,” Cook said.

Putting on a wig has become a normal routine until today.

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

She came to the car rental terminal at Sacramento’s airport with her driver’s license, business credit card, and Alamo rental car reservation in hand.

And she said she gave it to a service member.

“He held up my ID and said, ‘Who is this, who is this?'” Cook said. “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.'”

Leah says he called over a manager who also didn’t believe her.

So, she got her daughter Britney Johnson on the phone.

“I tried to stay strong about it and fight the tears back, but I couldn’t,” Cook said.

“For me, to hear my mom cry, it just made me feel, I just feel really hurt,” Johnson said.

Britney’s husband, San Diego chargers player Stevie Johnson, even took to Twitter to express his disappointment with Alamo.


“What happens after this is what matters most, you know what I’m saying?” Stevie Johnson said. “So, we’ll see, we’ll see what happens.”

A spokeswoman for the company said they’re looking into the situation and taking it very seriously.

As for Leah, she was able to rent a car with the help of a second Alamo manager but drove away feeling stripped of her dignity.

“It’s just like a punch in the stomach,” Cook said. “I wanted my voice to be heard because, I mean, this may happen to someone else.”

Alamo’s parent company, Enterprise, also responded to Johnson’s tweet, saying, “Thanks, Stevie. We are looking into this.”

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