Local woman overcoming cancer starts fundraiser to help cancer patients

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Jennifer Kroll isn’t letting cancer weigh her down.

The mom of two has always embraced an active lifestyle, even incorporating Olympic weightlifting into her fitness routine to build strength.

But in May 2019, her strength would be tested in a way she never imagined.

She remembers the week she began having trouble with headaches and fatigue.

“I had trouble getting out of bed. I couldn’t eat or drink, and my fiancé had to take me to the ER,” she said.

It was the beginning of battling stage 4 melanoma.

“It was pretty difficult because when one hears stage 4, they think terminal, so that was kind of a focus for a short time,” Kroll said.

She knew she couldn’t dwell on that.

Kroll was reminded of the many positives in her life when she met other patients during treatments at the Cone Health Cancer Center at Wesley Long.

She noticed people who were not only going through the physical journey of fighting cancer but were also struggling financially.

She started a fundraiser called “Lifting the Burden” to take the financial weight off another cancer patient’s shoulders.

Kroll hopes to raise $10,000 to go toward the Cancer Patient Support Fund.

Alight Program Coordinator Jennifer Shoffner oversees the fund.

“What our goal is with this fund is just to relieve some of that stress for those everyday necessities,” Shoffner said.

Kroll continues to participate in weight training.

Before cancer, she could “clean” 155 pounds and hopes to lift that much again by the end of the fundraiser.

“You can see me, who still is a stage 4 cancer patient being able to weightlift and being able to take care of my kids and work and all these kind of things, so if I’m able to do that, then surely people can put muscle behind their money and donate to the people who really need it right now,” Kroll said.

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