‘S.T.A.R.S.: Survivors Tell A Real Story’ Event Promotes Healing Through Helping

Posted By on March 6, 2019

They conquered cancer, and soon, they’ll combat stage fright when they share the struggles, emotions and success stories they’ve experienced in front of a live audience as they embark upon their second acts.

A 2nd Act’s S.T.A.R.S.: Survivors Tell A Real Story event is slated for 2 p.m. Sunday, March 24, at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts (7380 E 2nd St., Scottsdale), and eight Valley women are gearing up to share their trials, tribulations and experiences as part of the live storytelling performance. Organized around the belief that cancer survivors can find “healing through helping,” the event will showcase the inspiring stories of these strong Valley women as they reflect on the past and make plans for the future.

“This is a group of women who not only fought cancer and won, but who are now looking to lend their experiences to others facing similar hardships in their 2nd Acts,” said Judy Pearson, founder of A2ndAct.org. “It takes a certain strength of character to not only speak publicly about their experiences, but to make efforts to help those facing similar circumstances, and I have no doubt that the words of these women will make an immeasurable impact on everyone in attendance.”

In addition to giving Valley cancer survivors a platform from which to share their stories and offer support for others battling cancer and other conditions, this month’s S.T.A.R.S. event will raise funds for local workshops and microgrants that will, in turn, help survivors to continue to give back through their 2nd Acts.

Scheduled storytellers at this year’s S.T.A.R.S. event are as follows:

Elizabeth Ayers Cluff – Breast Cancer Survivor, Gilbert

A mother of three children who finds strength through serving others, Elizabeth believes that having hope can heal, both mentally and physically, which is the driving sentiment behind Impact One, an organization she founded that caters to women affected by breast cancer.

Marissa Gardner – Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Survivor, Glendale

A resident of Glendale, Arizona, by way of Portland, Oregon, Marissa serves as a regional sales director for Heritage Communities and spends her spare time hiking, running and making connections with new people. Her passion is to share her story and give hope to anyone facing a challenge.

Monica Castillo – Breast Cancer Survivor, Phoenix

A local restaurant and business consultant, Monica has made mentoring other women facing similar circumstances a main priority after receiving her own cancer diagnosis. Monica helps women view their cancer journeys through a different lens via The Bald Project.

Kim Stoffers & Brittany DeBoer – Breast Cancer Survivors, Phoenix and Glendale

Kim and Brittany may have met under less-than-ideal circumstances, but their breast cancer diagnoses united them, and they’re now “breast” friends forever. Having founded Young Advocacy and Support, the pair proves that there’s strength in numbers, and that having support is a critical part of any survivor’s story.

Patrice Tillman – Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Sarcoma Survivor, Tucson

Slated to graduate this fall from the University of Arizona, cancer has given Patrice the opportunity to reconnect with her faith. She spends her spare time reading, writing, traveling, enjoying the company of her son, three daughters and two grandchildren, and writing her memoire, Healing Patrice.

Arlene Rosenberg – Breast Cancer Survivor, Scottsdale

A survivor of advanced breast cancer, Arlene concentrates her efforts on coaching and helping others achieve their full potential through self-empowerment. An ardent believer that personal and professional development comes from reprogramming thinking and letting go of self-defeating behaviors, she continues to help others achieve greater success in life through her website, ArleneRosenberg.com.

Andrea Tyler Evans – Esthesioneuroblastoma Survivor, Phoenix

Andrea is the publisher of Frontdoors Magazine, a publication dedicated to celebrating those who give generously and work to build the future of our community. She is one of the Phoenix Business Journal’s 2018 “Outstanding Women in Business,” a graduate of Valley Leadership Institute and a proud ASU alum.

Crystal Reidy – Breast Cancer Survivor, Gilbert

Crystal manages community affairs at Desert Rain Behavioral Health Services, owns and operates a food truck, leads the non-profit Pink Sister Yard Sale, which supports moms battling stage four breast cancer, and she’s also a mother of five. Tickets for S.T.A.R.S.: Survivors Tell A Real Story are $22 (plus a $4.50 theatre surcharge) and available at the Box Office, 480-499-8587 or online at ScottsdalePerformingArts.org.

  • Andrea Evans
  • Arlene Rosenberg
  • Crystal Reidy
  • Elizabeth Cluff
  • Kim and Brittany
  • Marissa Gardner
  • Monica Castillo
  • Patrice Tillman
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