S.T.A.R.S. Arizona



In the beginning …

After surviving Triple Negative Breast Cancer, award-winning writer Judy Pearson noticed an amazing trend. Women cancer survivors around the country were doing great things in their survivorship, serving the social needs that spoke to them. They had created a “2nd Act” after cancer, whether big, small, or free spirited … cancer related or not.

So Judy founded the nonprofit A 2nd Act. 

Judy Pearson, Founder

A 2nd Act’s mission was to raise money to award annual micro-grants to women survivors ready to launch or grow their 2nd Acts. With galas, 5k runs and golf tournaments abounding, Judy created a live, storytelling event as a fundraiser: S.T.A.R.S.: Survivors Tell A Real Story.

As all cancers have their signature color, purple is the color of survivorship. So naturally, the story tellers became known as the Purple Tribe.

And then …

After six years, Judy returned to writing full time and A 2nd Act got a 2nd Act! Some of the programs have been embraced by Check for a Lump, the organization created by 2018 storyteller Holly Rose.

And the amazing S.T.A.R.S. performances are being lovingly tended to by a new producer, 2019 storyteller Monica Castillo.  


Monica Castillo, Director and Producer

And here’s a news flash: that there are great health benefits to 2nd Acts (a.k.a. volunteering)!

 S.T.A.R.S. performances feature women who auditioned and were selected by an impartial committee. Their cancers vary as do their inspiring stories of rising from the ashes of cancer. And every show imparts four powerful benefits:

– Each time a cast member tells her story, she heals more and more.

– Her 2nd Act receives publicity allowing it to grow.

– Audience members are inspired to create their own 2nd Acts after a challenging life event.

– The money raised supports the annual beneficiary, which is almost ALWAYS someone else’s 2nd Act!

Without a doubt, S.T.A.R.S. is the best
pay-it-forward love fest ever!

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