A 17-year-old Kentucky high school student produced a documentary about her battle with cancer after being diagnosed in 2020.
Ballard High School junior Jillian Hebermehl was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma just a few months into the pandemic, reported local Louisville outlet WMUR-TV. She had studied journalism and reportedly decided to use her skills to produce the documentary while being treated at Norton Children’s Hospital.
“I wanted to show what it’s like as a teenager to have cancer and how my life has been changed,” Hebermehl told the outlet. “I was really open with things like losing my hair, my friends being there for me, my family, all my supporters.”
The brief documentary, titled “Cancer Journey Through A Teenage Lens,” takes viewers through the experience of losing her hair and the painful side effects of chemotherapy.
“It was pretty hard doing school while at the hospital getting pumped full of chemo or getting a blood transfusion,” said Hebermehl told WMUR-TV. Hebermehl added that she is a fan of celebrity rapper Jack Harlow and listened to his music throughout the experience to stay positive. “His music was very motivating and kept me positive through the rough times.”
She reportedly finished her chemotherapy in October and rang the bell in the hospital’s cancer ward, a tradition symbolizing the end of her treatments — and got a visit from her “music idol” Harlow, a fellow Louisville native. (RELATED: Jason Momoa Surprises 7-Year-Old Cancer Patient With Virtual Visit)
The cancer-free high school student says she has been humbled by the experience and told the outlet she hopes the documentary provides an inspiring message. “Live your life to the fullest because you only have one shot at it,” said Hebermehl. She said she is looking forward to the upcoming lacrosse season following her recovery.