Bart Conley’s life was turned upside down in 2016, when he lost the love of his life to breast cancer when she was only 38 years-old. As he grieved for her, he found a new purpose in life by devoting his time to helping others fight their medical battles.
Conley explained that after his wife passed away, he felt motivated to leave his career in business to become a nurse in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. It was the team of dedicated nurses who cared for his wife Jill that inspired him to do this.
“We had just a wonderful staff of nurses that always took care of her,” he said. “I want to be that nurse that the family can depend on, the patient can depend on, going the extra mile, which a lot of the nurses did for Jill.”
Though he still struggles to deal with the loss of his wife, Conley says that becoming a nurse has helped his healing process.
“I try to deal with it better as time goes on,” he said.
Jill Brzezinski-Conley was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, and four years later, she created Jill’s Wish, which aims to help others facing breast cancer financially so they can focus on their treatment instead of worrying about cost. At a gala for her charity in 2013, Jill said she would “die the happiest woman in the world.”
Two years later, Conley still sometimes finds himself picking up his phone to tell his wife something.
“Sometimes it feels like yesterday,” Conley said. “I’m blessed that there’s a lot of videos, and I watch them all the time. For a while, just getting out of bed was tough for me.”
On top of nursing, Conley still works with Jill’s Wish, which has distributed over $250,000 in financial assistance grants so far. Though he misses his wife dearly, he’s getting through this loss by helping others.
“I do love her, and I always think about her,” he said. “She was amazing.”