PASSAIC COUNTY, NJ — Jennifer Waller’s cancer diagnosis was like a punch to the gut. But she took that punch and is punching back.
Waller, a single mother of two kids from Clifton, was diagnosed with colon cancer Aug. 22. She posted an inspiring video on her Facebook page a week later that has since gone viral.
“Bring it,” Waller says in the five-minute video, which has been viewed more than 23,000 times and shared more than 200 times.
“When you’re diagnosed with cancer, you go through a lot of different emotions,” Waller said Wednesday morning. “At first I told myself that I don’t have a lot of choice in all of this, but I do and I choose to help and inspire others.”
She has done just that. Waller said she has received many encouraging messages of support from people throughout the world. Cancer survivors have shared their stories with her and doctors have even offered treatment.
“In a time that should be a very dark time for me, it has been very inspirational,” Waller said. “I’ve had complete strangers reach out to me who have been so positive. We hear of so much negativity in the world, but there is so much positivity too in the world and that video has helped me to see that again.”
Waller is a Boston native. She moved to New Jersey in 2013. She is an emergency room nurse educator at CarePoint Health Care and is a nursing supervisor at Hackensack Meridian Health at Hackensack University Medical Center.
“If I’m 32 and a nurse and had no idea I have colon cancer, how many people don’t know they have it,” Waller said. “If I could help one person by having them see the video, that could be one more person who gets screened.”
Here is the video:
Photo: Jennifer Waller (Courtesy of Jennifer Waller, used with permission)