S T A A R S Memphis

Educate, Encourage, and Empower breast cancer survivors and co-survivors and to be visible and vocal in the fight against breast cancer.


The Surviving, Thriving, African-Americans Rallying Support (STAARS) group was founded in July, 1998 by breast cancer survivors Barbara Davis and Toni Clark. This was the first breast cancer support group founded by breast cancer survivors in the Memphis community.

A need existed for an African American breast cancer support group that was “vocal and visible” because overt cancer conversations and information in our community were basically non-existent. Toni was adamant that we should give “voice to our victory” over cancer and attempt to end the silence and stigma associated with a breast cancer diagnosis.
We felt that women in our community needed to hear our stories, learn from our experiences, and know that breast cancer was just a speed bump in the road and not a death sentence.

The Memphis Cancer Foundation (MCF) founded by Dr. Kirby Smith and Pat McRee of the Flying Colors Support Network were instrumental in helping the group get started. They provided meeting facilities, supplies, refreshments for meetings, guidance, and served as our parent organization for community grants under their 501 (c) 3 status.

STAARS quickly became the largest support group in the MidSouth area. We accepted speaking engagements, participated in health fairs, and joined forces with local breast cancer organizations to help educate women and fight to find a cure for this devastating disease.