For the past 4 years, SURVIVORville in Nashville, TN has given hope and inspiration to more than 3,000 women from 49 states and 5 countries. They come together to rebuild their lives after a diagnosis of cancer. Produced by 29-year cancer survivor Karen Shayne and the Women Survivors Alliance, SURVIVORville connects these women and strengthens them emotionally for their own journeys with and beyond cancer. SURVIVORville serves these women with sessions ranging from emotional support to makeovers to the latest in medical breakthroughs. Shayne and her WSA volunteers are strong survivors themselves who know what it takes to persevere, overcome, and live life to the fullest. Through the event, they share that inspiration with attendees new to the cancer journey and unsure of their own path forward in life.
“The Women Survivors Alliance is 501(c)(3) organization that was founded by women cancer survivors for women cancer survivors, and we have the time of our lives celebrating survivorship, learning more about our journey, becoming empowered, and ultimately giving hope to others,” says Karen Shayne.
In this, its fourth year, SURVIVORville culminated with the organization’s signature stage show, My 2nd Act: Survivor Stories from the Stage held at the Historic Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, Here, ten cancer survivors shared their own personal, heartfelt stories of perseverance in the face of uncertainty in shaping their own survivorship.
The professionally produced stage show, co-founded by Joanna Montgomery and Shayne, created an avenue for women from around the country to tell the intimate details of their cancer stories. For some, this is the first time they’ve ever stepped into the spotlight. For all, it was a way to give hope and inspiration to everyone in the audience, survivors, and co-survivors, dealing with their own questions and fears about the journey. And that is the tie that binds these women so closely- hope and inspiration.
“Every person’s story is unique. Everyone’s journey is different. Everyone’s cancer is different, but the emotion is the same… and that’s what this stage show is about – hope and inspiration,” says Karen.
This year’s Stories from the Stage host and SURVIVORville keynote speaker was hometown favorite Scott Hamilton, an Olympic Gold Medalist and fellow cancer survivor. Scott motivated the audience with his own story of survivorship and inspiration, noting his incredible journey prompted him to create Scott Hamilton CARES (Cancer Alliance for Research, Education, and Survivorship) Foundation, an organization that often partners with the Women Survivors Alliance in creating survivorship programs.
The Women Survivors Alliance is an all-volunteer organization and depends on donor support for the two programs. To assist the WSA or to share your own story of trial, inspiration, and accomplishment, please visit Womensurvivorsalliance.org. There is, indeed, strength in numbers, and the WSA welcomes all women survivors to its ranks, to grow stronger together.
This video provided by HooplaHa – This HooplaHa original video was produced by television veteran, Marcia Mulé, shot by Craig Aspen and edited by Kellie Sieban. Additional footage of the event was provided by Philip Bradley of New Focus Network. To see more good news, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.