Woman With Breast Cancer Changes the Meaning of 'Beautiful' With Inspiring Photo Shoot (VIDEO)

Awww! 16

Jill Brzezinski-ConleyHow many times during any given week do you look in the mirror and criticize your appearance in one way or another? I won't lie, I do it several times a day, because most of the time I just don't feel I live up to the standard of beauty ingrained in my mind.

But after hearing about a woman with breast cancer who is hoping to change the way women see beauty once and for all, I can't help but feel pretty darn shameful for not appreciating and accepting the way I look, even if I don't think I come close to measuring up to what society deems as beautiful.

At just 35, Jill Brzezinski-Conley has already endured breast cancer, had a double mastectomy, went into remission, and is now suffering from stage-4 breast cancer that has spread to her bones -- and it's incurable.

And even though her world has been absolutely turned upside down, she's still made it her mission to inspire, uplift, and comfort other cancer sufferers, by encouraging them to feel beautiful in their own skin.

Jill asked her good friend, Nikki Closser, who happens to be a wedding photographer, to take pictures of her breasts in the hopes of submitting them to magazines for breast cancer awareness month -- because "the media never shows what breast cancer looks like."

After taking the photos, Nikki emailed them to Australian portrait photographer, Sue Bryce, and also told her about everything Jill has been through, and her wishes for helping and inspiring others. What happened next was nothing short of incredible -- Sue offered Jill a photo shoot in Paris to help her achieve her dream.

Take a look at this video to hear Jill's whole story, which is humbling and amazing.


Wow. Just ... wow.

And you know what? When I watch Jill in that video, I don't see a woman with cancer. I see a vibrant, passionate woman who is not only beautiful on the outside, but on the inside as well. 

I see a woman I'd be proud to know. I see a woman I want to strive to be more like. And I see someone who truly loves herself and those around her wholeheartedly. I see beauty, truth, and pure goodness.

And thanks to her willingness to share her journey, hopefully a lot of other women will too.

What moved you most about Jill's story?


Image via Vimeo

body image, cancer, models


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Gail Grenade-Accinelli

I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer is 1999 and again in 2009. I am now a stage 4 and was only given 2 years to live. I am now on my 5th year. That was an amazing story and I am glad that she shared it. Remember you are NOT a statistic you are your own person. Never give up always go forward with happiness and a positive attitude. Gail

Lisa White Childers

At the age of 44 I was diagnosed with breast cancer May 2011. It was stage 2b. I had a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction. My mother passed away in 2010 with stage 4 breast cancer. I did not have to have chemo or radiation due to my tumor type. I absolutely love your story. Thank you for sharing. I also pray that our stories can help all of us survivors to love yourself no matter what you look like. My husband and family have been my rock. I hated telling them about my cancer diagnosis being that we just lost our mother 2 years ago. They were with me every step of the way. It was very difficult having 2 surgeries but I made it through. God bless you for opening your heart and being a light in the darkness of breast cancer. Big Hug!!

shell... shellbell1969

What an incredibly amazing, courageous and beautiful woman..Thank you for this wonderful video.. I am a 3-year Stage III B survivor, and Jill has inspired me beyond description...So beautiful, inside and out!

Tami Greenfield Boehmer

As a 5-year, stage IV breast cancer survivor, I'm moved and inspired by this amazing woman and her story. She is beautiful inside and out! We all need to feel beautiful, whether we have cancer or not. So happy she had this experience.

Anita Dobkins-White

WOW! A truly amazing and brave woman.This is the reality of breast cancer...

Jackie Dunlap

I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 at 26 yrs old. I was re-diagnosed in 2012. It's inspiring to see someone else that has almost the same scars I have. I had a double mastectomy and am adjusting to my appearance.

Mary Abbott

God speed Jill. You told the world what real priorities are and where they should be placed. You are truly beautiful. Your light will penetrated much darkness!

nonmember avatar cheryl Bogacki

: will never wear those hot heavy prosthesis again. I will not hide. I will be proud to be alive. Thank you for this....good luck....17 yr surv.

Kevin Brown

Support and self worth makes all the difference. What a good soul to pass that to those who are perhaps not as fortunate to have had those things. You are a blessing.

Shae Ugron Edge

This is a GREAT video. It made me double think my own situation. Wow. Its been 9 years since I had breast cancer!! I really have not kept up with the years and had to look it up... I was only 34 at the time and was in denial that it could happen to me with NO family history of it and hey "I'm too young for cancer!"... I ended up having a left mastectomy, but no chemo or radiation. I gained about 40 lbs in 3 months from taking tamoxifen so I stopped taking it. Since then, I've never been able to lose weight and have continued to put it on. I'm now about 85 lbs heavier than I was 9 yrs ago... I hate the way I look. I never got to complete my reconstruction and then gaining weight made the other side get bigger so I am VERY lopsided! I am very self conscious of it too. Then I see this video and I think wow. I'm still alive. I even had a baby 3 years ago. I'm overweight and lopsided but I'm still alive. This woman is very inspiring to me. She helped me see tonight that I really shouldn't care what anyone thinks of me and more than that, I shouldn't dog myself about how I look. Crap happens but there's always something good in everything. I am changing my perspective because of her. I hope you watch this video and that it changes your life too...

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