Contact Us | Location

Jillian’s Survivor Story

The story detailed below is an account written by Jillian Duffy, Miss Connecticut 2019. Since surviving, she has finished high school and is currently in her senior year at Southern Connecticut State University with a business administration and marketing degree. She uses her Miss Connecticut platform to help raise awareness for childhood cancer.Jillian's Survivor Story

I was a straight A student who attended dance six times a week and spent time with family and friends on the weekend. In the fall of 2010, I noticed I was short of breath while doing regular activities that would never have given my trouble in the past. Following the bruising was my loss of concentration and ultimately led me to not feeling like myself, and knowing that something must be wrong.

I was diagnosed out of age range and relied heavily on clinical trials and research performed in the past. I had chemotherapy for two and a half years and suffered a stroke in July of 2011. Despite a learning disability and memory disability, I graduated high school on time and I am currently a senior studying business and marketing. I am almost 10 years cancer free and share my story and battle with cancer to help raise awareness to others as Miss Connecticut 2019 where I placed in the top 5 at Miss America 2020!

I rang the bell on March 21, 2013!

How has the American Childhood Cancer Organization helped in your cancer journey?
ACCO has allowed me as Jillian Duffy and Miss Connecticut 2019 to share my story and impact other children and families battling cancer.

Currently, I am serving my state as Miss Connecticut 2019. I placed top 5 at Miss America in December 2019 and earned enough scholarship money to allow me to graduate debt free from Southern Connecticut State University with a business administration and marketing degree.

What is one piece of advice you give someone on treatment or newly diagnosed?
“God gives His hardest battles to His strongest soldiers” – You can sit down and you can let cancer control your life, or you can get up, dust off, and FIGHT!

more survivor stories



Together, we can make a difference.
Donate today because kids can’t fight cancer alone®.

Donate to ACCO