Award-winning writer Judy Pearson has an unwavering belief in two things: one, valuable lessons can come out of all journeys, even the difficult ones. And two, we all owe a payback to humanity. For her, those beliefs were made abundantly clear after her diagnosis and treatment for Triple Negative Breast Cancer. She was astounded that neither her body nor her mind returned to their pre-cancer space. Making sense of her cancer journey, and finding its purpose in her life, became her first goal.
Judy began a search for answers to her own physical and psycho-social issues, and an amazing trend appeared. Women cancer survivors around the country were doing great things, serving the social needs that spoke to them. They were creating what Judy has come to call a “2nd Act” after cancer, using their gifts of life and experience to give back to the greater good. Pearson listened to hundreds of their stories.
Equally astonishing was the number of women who were stuck in their survivorship. Loss of jobs, financial stability, relationships and self image were causing post-cancer problems these women had never anticipated. Judy listened to their stories as well and realized they needed the kind of inspiration and motivation she had seen in those who had already structured their 2nd Acts.
Judy recognized that women cancer survivors have unique needs.And suddenly the mission became clear: the single component missing from most support groups is how to change the survivorship question from “why me?” to “what’s next?” In 2016, after three years of research and refinement, A2ndAct.org was born.
Using what she’s learned from cancer experts around the world, and thousands of women survivors, Judy has become become a leading expert on life after a cancer diagnosis, as well as the value of a 2nd Act. Both are frequent topics of her writing, keynotes and workshops.
A graduate of Michigan State University, Judy is the author of two decades worth of magazine, newspaper and online articles, as well as three published books. The rights to her biography of Virginia Hall, WOLVES AT THE DOOR, have been purchased for a television mini series, and her inspirational IT’S JUST HAIR: 20 ESSENTIAL LIFE LESSONS, was a 2012 International Book Award finalist.
Judy and her husband live in Phoenix, AZ, along with their chocolate lab. Judy is a member of the American Association of University Women and the Michigan State Alumni Association. She was featured for her work in survivorship in the “Cancer Progress Report” of the American Association of Cancer Research and has been named one of Chicago’s most inspirational women.