Survivors 2nd Act

The Third Ribbon of the Women Survivors Alliance is the Survivors 2nd Act. The Women Survivors Alliance encourages women cancer survivors to share their stories with other people either verbally or in written form, and believe that cancer healing can be achieved by supporting cancer patients. The nonprofit organization encourages women cancer survivors to use their gifts of experience and time to support other women who are where they once were in their cancer journeys. Survivors 2nd Act is a continuously expanding collection of essays by cancer survivors on cancer survivorship. Survivors 2nd Act also features a segment called Survivors Stories from the Stage, which is a professionally produced stage performance where a dozen women read their five-minute cancer stories. The impact of these two platforms is inspiring, empowering, and celebratory for all.

About the Founders

The Women Survivors Alliance was established by two cancer survivors, Judy Pearson and Karen Shayne.

Karen Shayne

When it comes to the treatment of cancer, Karen has experience from all sides of the coin. In addition to successfully battling cancer twice, Karen Shayne has also had a career spanning twenty years as a health administrator. It was from both these encounters with the process of cancer treatment that revealed to her the resource insufficiency cancer patients face, inspiring her to create the Women Survivors Alliance.

When Karen was on the verge of winning her fight against cancer, she anticipated that her life would return to normal, and everything would be just as it was prior to her cancer diagnosis. To her dismay, that was not the case. As soon as she finished her cancer treatment, other issues set in. One of the challenges Karen faced after her battle with cancer was transitioning back into society, which led to depression. Joining Relay in Life made Karen realize that her circumstance was not at all unusual. Many women cancer survivors had traveled the road that she was now traveling. She discovered that it was actually a usual phenomenon for cancer survivors to experience complicated emotional and physical challenges with little to no support.

In Karen’s first initiative to support cancer survivors, she created Billy Wish, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting children in their fight against cancer through coloring books, and educational CDs and DVDs. These free resources help explain to children what cancer entails, and what they can anticipate from the treatment of the disease, all in an encouraging and age-appropriate manner. While Karen was still involved in her first initiative Billy Wish, she perceived that she could make a more impactful contribution to society by providing support to cancer survivors from across America.

In 2012, Karen Shayne started Women Survivors Alliance following 5 years of planning and research. Today, the Women Survivors Alliance is the most essential yearly event for female cancer survivors. The inaugural convention was attended by participants from five countries and forty-nine states learning about survivor issues from various teachers and experts. Soon Karen realized that there was an obvious need for a presence all year round and decided to launch the digital magazine PLUM for cancer survivors across the globe.

Alongside Karen Shayne’s roles in the aforementioned initiatives, she is presently the Survivorship Committee Chairperson for the Cancer Coalition of Tennessee and previously served in the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network as Tennessee State Lead Ambassador. Karen currently resides in Nashville with her lovely pet Marley. in Karen Shayne’s free time, she likes to experience the character of her Nashville musical roots, as well as being a wannabe pro-style baker.

Article written by Matthew Johnson, professional writer in the fitness, health, and finance realms. His work can primarily be found on Credit Glory, but watch out for his latest work right here on WSA.