A breast cancer survivor was dealt crushing news, but thanks to a friend, Jill Brzezinski-Conley was able to share her story on the world stage.
I was learning exciting new ways to tell stories through film this last weekend on CreativeLive. I learned of Jill’s story during a workshop with Sue Bryce and Hailey Bartholomew. My mother-in-law was recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, so Jill’s story hit close to home. Hailey did an amazing job telling Jill’s story and I thought everyone should see it. I hope you will all take the time to watch the video and then go show Jill your support by liking her Facebook page.
The following below is from Jill’s Facebook page:
Jill Brzezinski-Conley was diagnosed with Stage IIIC invasive breast cancer one day before her 32nd birthday on July 15th 2009 – just 6 months after she married the man of her dreams. Her journey began with the most progressive form of treatment available. Contrary to what most people think, the younger you are, the more aggressive breast cancer can be. Jill’s treatment included 16 rounds of grueling chemotherapy, 31 rounds of radiation and 4 surgeries including a double mastectomy with additional surgery ahead. During her treatment she suffered a broken rib and endured serious complications after her reconstructive surgery. However her strength and determination proved pivotal, and after 2 years Jill was in remission and now considers herself a survivor.
Unfortunately 12 months later Jill found out she had developed bone cancer and at 35 years old, the prognosis is terminal. Through all of this, Jill has kept her wit, determination, and never ending smile, with no room for self pity, while frequently making jokes about her baldness, lack of eyebrows and eyelashes. Her sense of humor, courage, positive attitude and inner beauty is truly remarkable. Anyone who has ever met Jill will tell you that she leaves you with a lasting impression. The room lights up upon her arrival.
In September 2012, Jill’s best friend Nikki Closser reached out to world acclaimed portrait photographer Sue Bryce. Sue was so overwhelmed with Jill’s story and the message she wanted to share with the world, that she was instantly determined to help this beautiful girl spread that message. Sue arranged for Nikki and Jill to meet her in Paris where she would photograph Jill, capture her incredible beauty and help to tell her story to inspire others and educate the world about Breast Cancer. In Jill’s own words, to help women – even one woman. A documentary has been filmed and a project is being created so others can photograph women going through this battle and bring beauty and joy into their lives.
Jill’s story has spread fast across the globe and she is overwhelmed by the support she’s received from so many. This page has been created so others can share Jill’s journey, and for Jill to share with you, her story. It’s a place for Jill to help others. This remarkable young woman will change the way you live.