Non-Profit Organizing National Cancer Survivors' Convention - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Non-Profit Organizing National Cancer Survivors' Convention

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by Emily Luxen

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. - A Brentwood woman is turning a cancer diagnosis into an opportunity to help others through a new non-profit and National Women's Survivors Convention in Nashville.

After beating ovarian cancer, Karen Shayne co-founded a new non-profit organization aimed at supporting other female cancer survivors.

Women Survivors Alliance provides educational resources, health information and support to the 7 million female cancer survivors nationwide. Shayne said when a patient completes cancer treatments they are often left with lingering questions and concerns. The group hopes to ease the transition to a post-cancer life.

"Cancer truly is a life changing, dramatic event," said Shayne. "Everyone thinks everything will go back to normal, but that's not the case. Usually, that is when reality sets in."

Shayne co-founded Women Survivors Alliance with fellow cancer survivor Judy Pearson.

"The goal of this organization is to bring to women survivors education, motivation and life application," said Pearson. "If you've got a joint issue or a health issue, we're the place you can go to get that information."

Other cancer survivors agreed the organization will provide important information.

"There's so much to deal with," said Joanna Montgomery, who survived stage 3 fallopian tube cancer. "Having people who have gone through a similar situation is an invaluable resource."

Shayne said support for Women Survivors Alliance was so strong, she decided to organize a convention for survivors to share information and celebrate accomplishments.

"It's for all women, all ages, all stages, all cancers, all right here in Nashville."

The National Women's Survivors Convention is expected to attract as many as 1,000 women from around the world. It will be held Aug. 22-24 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. It will feature speakers, health information, and a musical performance by Martina McBride.

"There are lots of cancer survivors in Nashville and all around the United States," said Sheila Jones, the director of Team Martina. "We think it is important to do something to recognize them and to assist them in their survivorship."

Shayne said a lot of planning is being poured into the convention, but she's excited to see the results.

"To see something like this happen and to be a part of a movement, I honestly don't think I could do anything else with my life that could mean more." said Shayne.


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