To transform survivorship from a mood into a movement by empowering, educating, and connecting women whose lives have been touched by cancer.
To establish a network where women affected by cancer can find their voice, improve their quality of life, and embrace their 2nd Act.
If cancer was cured tomorrow, 1.5 million women would be spared a diagnosis this year alone. But the 7 million women survivors in America will continue to face issues they never expected once their treatment ended. Cancer is a line in the sand of life and a BIG game changer. Its impact doesn’t end just because treatment does. Survivors must address the long-term and life limiting effects of the illness and its treatments including physical, psychosocial, legal and financial issues. And then there’s the big one – fear of reoccurrence. Learning to navigate the muddy waters of their new normal is the only way survivors can return to being contributing members of their families and society as a whole. Survivorship, and the recognition of the many challenges survivors face following treatment, is the cutting-edge theme in the world of cancer.
- The Commission on Cancer (part of the American College of Surgeons) has mandated that its 1,500 accredited cancer care facilities must have survivorship care plans in place by 2015 in order to renew their accreditation. It is clear that the time has come to move survivorship to the forefront in the conversation about cancer.
- The Journal of Clinical Oncology published research in April 2014 regarding the need to improve the follow-up care of survivors.
- A newly released study from the University of Michigan (published in the journal Cancer) states that unemployment is common after treatment ends. The study was the subject of myriad medical blogs and nightly news broadcasts.
Clearly the time has come to open the dialogue about survivorship.
Who We Are
The Women Survivors Alliance has undertaken a national call to action to address the burdens of survivorship issues on women, their families, and by extension, society as a whole. It is 501(c)3 organization created BY women survivors FOR women survivors, providing Three Ribbons of Support:
- The First Ribbon (www.SURVIVORville.org) is SURVIVORville. Held in Nashville, TN, this event brings together women survivors of all ages, all stages and all cancers. Education, motivation and life application are the focus, with celebrities, medical experts from all areas of survivorship, the Celebrate Survivors 5K and Walk, and more. And since it’s Nashville, there’s gotta be music!
- The Second Ribbon of support is the WSA digital magazine NOU, for women survivors living a NEW+YOU life after cancer (www.NOUMagazine.org). A comprehensive resource, its dynamic content includes articles on nutrition, exercise, finances, sexuality, health, a book club, a directory of cancer and survivorship organizations across the internet, and more.
- The Third Ribbon (www.Survivors2ndAct.org) We believe helping is healing, and encourage women to tell their stories – either written or read before an audience – of using their gifts of time and experience to help other women on their cancer journeys. So we created My 2nd Act, a ever-growing collection of survivor essays, and My 2nd Act: Survivor Stories from the Stage, a professionally produced stage featuring 12 women each reading their 5 minute stories. The result of both of these platforms is celebratory, inspiring, and empowering for all.
The Women Survivors Alliance is honored to work along side its partner corporations and organizations to help women achieve true survivorship, and a fulfilling, promising, and cancer-free life!