Robin Williams' final message of hope

22:49, Aug 19 2014
Jack and Vivian Waller with Sophie
DREAM WEDDING: Jack and Vivian Waller with daughter Sophie, pictured at their wedding in February – a month after a grim diagnosis from doctors.

Before taking his own life, actor Robin Williams sent a message of hope, support and "love" to a terminally ill New Zealand woman.

Vivian Waller, 21, is in an Auckland hospice suffering lung, bowel and liver cancer.

When Waller, nee Fittall, was diagnosed in January she drew up a bucket list that had five wishes on it: to get married, celebrate her 21st birthday, see her daughter Sophie celebrate her first birthday, travel to Rarotonga and meet Williams.

Waller was too ill to travel to the United States to try to meet Williams, so one of her friends reached out to the comedian and he recorded a short video clip which he emailed to the family a few months ago.

Waller's husband Jack said his wife was thrilled beyond belief with Williams' heartfelt and personal video message.

The message was short but very sweet: "Hi Vivian . . . it's Robin Williams here saying 'hey girl what's going on down there in New Zealand'.


"I'm sending all my love to you, Jack and Sophie . . . knock this off your bucket list."

Williams then breaks into brief song, explains that he's "channelling Matthew McConaughey" before signing off with - "much love to you baby".

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Jack has yet to discuss Williams' suicide with his wife, as it's a topic he finds too difficult to broach.

Currently in care at Hibiscus Hospice, Waller is still fighting but, says Jack, is resigned, after a series of failed attempts, to the fact that chemotherapy is no longer an option.

"Viv struggles with a lack of energy and it is quite difficult for her to concentrate," he said. "We are just enjoying the time we have together. We take things a day at a time."

He decided to open up about the very personal message from Williams because "we love him, we want to show people how awesome a person he was".

The Wallers married in February, a month after finding out Viv was terminally ill.

Fundraising from around the country meant they were able to pull together a wedding and honeymoon in just 10 days. A couple of months later Sophie had her first birthday.

The only thing Vivian couldn't cross off her bucket list was the trip to Rarotonga.

Williams, 63, took his own life last week after years of battling depression and anxiety. He had also been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.

Sunday Star Times