You might see pictures of Jill Brzezinski-Conley and think, at first glance, that she is a famous model in the latest ad campaign for a well-known fragrance or cosmetic line. You would be wrong. As told in a Huffington Post story, Brzezinski-Conley is a 35-year-old woman with incurable stage 4 bone cancer who is fighting for her life. At age 32, Brzezinski-Conley underwent a double mastectomy. Last August, she visited her childhood friend Nikki Closser, a wedding photographer, and asked Closser to take pictures of her breasts so that women could see what breast cancer looks like. She felt that the media never presents an accurate view. The two women hoped to send the pictures to magazines for them to use for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
After the photo session, Closser shared her friend's story and some of the pictures with another photographer, Sue Bryce, who lives in Australia. Inspired by Brzezinski-Conley's story, Bryce contacted her via Skype and then surprised her with a trip to Paris for a once-in-a-lifetime photo shoot. The shoot was videoed by Hailey Bartholomew to capture the cancer patient's experience.
Brzezinski-Conley said the trip was "a million times better than what she ever dreamed of." At the beginning of the video, called "The Light That Shines," she says, "If I could change one woman's life, I feel like I would die the happiest woman. Just to affect one woman, I would feel like I accomplished something." Through the video, Brzezinski-Conley's story is already touching people around the world, who are calling it "wonderful and inspiring."
Brzezinski-Conley told the Huffington Post that she hopes that women will be inspired by her story to celebrate their beauty no matter what they look like, especially those in their 20s and 30s who have been through cancer -- that "they can still feel sexy and beautiful." She passionately encourages young women to become educated about the
warning signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Her poignant advice: "Be educated, learn your body, learn the signs of breast cancer."
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