BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) – It is a diagnosis that has changed the lives of millions of Americans, cancer. A Bismarck man used the disease as an inspiration to create art. He hopes to help save other lives.
Bill Brien is surrounded by works of art in his house.
“Art doesn’t fit a perfect definition,” said Brien
But art determined who Bill is. In 2015, after his wife Geri’s second cancer diagnosis, Bill often spent hours in waiting rooms at the clinic while undergoing treatment.
“I Googled a free art app, I found it, I downloaded it, I started drawing and drawing and I found myself really loving it,” said Brien.
He said one of his favorite moments was showing his latest creation to his wife.
Geri passed away on May 1, 2018.
“She inspired me to still work with art. I was inspired by the memories we shared, ”said Brien.
His phone contains thousands of designs and upcoming projects … some of the artwork sold goes straight to the Bismarck Cancer Center, where Geri was treated.
“I love to bring a check to (the cancer center) two or three times a year and share that love that still connects me to all those people who work there,” Brien said.
Brien created Bountiful Rei’s, an art company called his wife’s middle name, to spread hope. He says his children and grandchildren enjoy the artwork, but it is too early to say whether they will continue the family business.
Brien said his ultimate goal is to open a brick-and-mortar store with his kids.
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