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Bismarck artist donates to Bismarck Cancer Center in honor of late wife

Published: Apr. 17, 2021 at 6:46 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - It’s a diagnosis that’s changed the lives of millions of Americans, cancer. One Bismarck man used the illness as an inspiration to create art. He’s hoping to help save other lives.

Bill Brien is surrounded by artwork in his home.

“Art doesn’t fit into a perfect definition,” said Brien

But art defined who Bill is. In 2015 after his wife Geri’s second cancer diagnosis, Bill would often sit in clinic waiting rooms for hours while she underwent treatment.

“I Googled a free art app, I found it, I downloaded it, I started doodling and drawing and I found that I really loved it,” said Brien.

He said one of his favorite moments was showing his latest creation to his wife.

On May 1, 2018, Geri passed away.

“She inspirited me to keep pursuing art even now. I found inspiration from the memories we shared together,” said Brien.

His phone holds thousands of designs and upcoming projects...a portion of artwork sold goes directly to the Bismarck Cancer Center, where Geri received treatment.

“I eagerly love bringing a check over to (the cancer center), two or three times a year and sharing that love that still connects me with all those people that work over there,” said Brien.

Brien created Bountiful Rei’s, an art company named his wife’s middle name, working to spread hope. He says his children and grandchildren enjoy the artwork but says it’s too early to tell if they’ll continue the family business.

Brien said his ultimate goal is to open a brick and mortar art store with his children.

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