Rock What You Got!
At age 31, newlywed Jill Conley, was diagnosed with stage IIIB Breast Cancer. Jill lost her battle to cancer at the young age of 38. Seven years is all God gave her once she discovered her body was being ravaged by a disease that would ultimately steal her last breath.
In seven years Jill endured painful treatments, lost her breast, and lived in constant pain. It would not be shameful if she cried out and wallowed in misery as her life slowly and painfully slipped away, but that was not her spirit.
Instead, Jill did just the opposite, she inspired the world. She and her new husband, Bart, struggled to make ends meet as the medical bills piled up and Jill struggled to fight the disease and the loss of her womanhood, her identity. Jill chose to accept her situation and to live out her story in a way that would help and inspire others that are dealing with cancer and body issues. Jill and Bart vowed to do their part to make life easier for those that are embattled with the realities that cancer brings into their lives.
Together, Jill and Bart created Jill’s Wish, a foundation that would support other cancer patients and survivors to fight and endure the disease financially, spiritually, and emotionally. Jill would be the beacon of hope for so many as she appeared on popular TV shows, books, periodicals, and radio. When cancer took her breast, she ultimately refused to have plastic surgery, but instead she embraced the scars on her chest and lived by the mantra, “Rock What You Got!”
Life is both joyous and cruel. It’s a tragic love story filled with moments of happiness, clarity, and pain that all of us experience with differing levels of intensity. We all have scars, reminders of life gone wrong. These scars can be physical and they can be emotional, but we all have them, with no exceptions. We simply cannot avoid the pain of life, it’s part of the human condition. It’s how we respond to those scars that separates us.
Jill had a choice to make once she was diagnosed with cancer. She said, “People always ask me if I am angry at God for giving me cancer. At first, I always answered honestly; I said ‘Yes.’ Then I realized that God didn’t give me cancer. Instead, He has given me the strength to get through this horrible disease.”
Jill chose to fight her disease and to leverage her story to make a difference and leave a legacy. She indeed “Rocked What She Got” and although she physically left us too early, her spirit will live on through Jill’s Wish, a constant reminder that when life hits you and your family hard with something tragic, you always have a choice.
So, what’s your choice? How do YOU choose to live today, tomorrow, and the rest of the days you have left on Earth? What are your scars and are you hiding them? Are you ashamed of them? Why?
Cancer took Jill’s health, it took her breast, and it ultimately took her life, but it didn’t take her spirit, because that was hers to give and she refused to give it away. Jill made her choice and we are all better for it. How about you? What choice will you make today?
For more information on Jill’s Wish, please CLICK HERE.