Jill Brzezinski-Conley was just beginning her storybook life: she was about to have her 32nd birthday and had recently married the man of her dreams. It’s not often that we think of this time in our lives as the time to be diagnosed with cancer. Then again, no one is every really ready.
Only one day before her birthday – in the summer of 2009 – Jill was diagnosed with StageIIIC invasive breast cancer. It took 2 years and a whole 31 rounds of radiation, 16 chemo treatments and 4 surgeries (including a double mastectomy), before her cancer went into remission. Despite the gruelling battle, reconstructive surgery and other complications, she remained determined to move forward and enjoy her life.
12 months after her bout with breast cancer, it was discovered that Jill has developed an aggressive bone cancer: a terminal diagnosis, in a young woman of only 35 years. Despite this grave realization, Jill remained positive and outgoing. Her perseverance and attitude towards living life and sharing it with her loved ones made a major impact on those around her.
In 2012, photographer Sue Bryce was overcome by the beauty within Jill and wanted to share her story with the world. Jill and her best friend, Nikki Closser, flew to Paris to meet Sue and shoot a series of photographs to capture her incredible story of life and positive resolve. The documentary The Light that Shines captures a piece of this beauty.
To learn more about Jill’s story, please visit her website.