Jennifer Copeland's absence due to cancer diagnosis

NOW: Jennifer Copeland’s absence due to cancer diagnosis

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- ABC57's Jennifer Copeland announced today that she has been diagnosed with Stage 1 Ovarian Cancer and has started chemotherapy.

Copeland does expect to be back co-anchoring the 5, 5:30 and 6 p.m. news with co-anchor Brian Conybeare soon. She also expects to continue sharing her story and join ABC57 News on-air during her 6-month fight when she can.

Copeland shared the message below to Facebook:

Some things stay with you forever & thank God they do.

Like what my Dad tells his patients when they call with a medical concern. He says, “I’m gonna tell you what I would tell my family. You’ve had this body for how many years. And if what you’re feeling now is NEW AND DIFFERENT than ANYTHING you’ve EVER felt before — YOU HAVE TO GET IT CHECKED.”

7 weeks ago, I did that.

I went to the ER for abdominal pain and bloating. At the time, it didn’t feel like an “emergency.” Honestly, it felt like a nuisance. And going to the ER felt excessive. Embarrassing, even. I was sure that I didn’t need a hospital gown and all that attention.

I went because my family asked me to.

Jennifer Copeland's Facebook post Jennifer Copeland

And I’m SO THANKFUL I did.


Doctors found a tumor growing on an ovary. Less than a week later, I had a major abdominal surgery. Testing revealed the tumor was cancerous.

I’ve been diagnosed with Stage 1 Ovarian Cancer and I’ve started chemotherapy.

What a shock this has all been to me, my girls, my family, my coworkers and those I love.

I’m doing well & feeling stronger every day. I’m determined to get through this with as much grace, beauty & normalcy as I can.

“Don’t let the hard days win.” My sister gifted me that wearable reminder and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

That night in the ER was a blessing. My whole world sharpened.
How fast things change. How fragile life is. How lucky I am — to have caught this early. And — see what truly matters.

The good news is that I WILL BE OK. I just have one tough summer ahead.

I plan to be back on air soon & I’m so excited to be back to my routine and the work I love. There will still be hard days and I may not be at work for all of them, but my prognosis is so good. And it’s BECAUSE I listened to my body.

My symptoms were just common annoyances, but they were NEW AND DIFFERENT. If I hadn’t gone to the ER that night, WHEN? Scary to consider what might be true for me if I’d ignored what I was feeling.

So, my message to you is this:
I don’t care how trivial, embarrassing or expensive it is — if something feels off — GO! See your doctor. Advocate for yourself. And listen to the wisdom within. The cost is too damn high not to.

To my cancer warriors out there, I’m with you.

-Jennifer Copeland

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