Tragedy to Triumph: Tara Troy’s Rise from Cancer Survivor to Award-Winning Filmmaker

Screenshot 2023 08 18 at 3.43.11 PM 

Award-winning filmmaker, actor and two-time cancer survivor Tara Troy is no stranger to the limelight. Her incredible talent for storytelling has been fueled by the trials and tribulations of her triumphant personal journey.

Tara’s story of resilience is an inspiration, and she has infused this into her forthcoming film, “A Moment in Time”—her directorial debut which is dedicated to her father, who passed away from lung cancer.

The creation of her film was delayed two times: once by the pandemic, and then a diagnosis of cancer.

She lives by the philosophy and poignant reminder that “Delay is not denial.” She believes that all unfolds in divine timing.

Born and raised in Athens, Georgia, Tara was always fascinated with the world of film and television. It was a window into a world of infinite possibilities and full of adventure and knowledge. But one thing seemed amiss — the absence of representation. Where were the women of color?

Her childhood was marked by her creative pursuits: acting, singing, writing stories and plays, and playing various instruments. But it was her father’s advice to “have something to fall back on” that guided her early career choices.

Tara devoted herself to her “fallback” option, earning an MBA from the University of Georgia and a JD from the Fordham University School of Law, which launched her prestigious career as a real estate attorney in New York City. Her friends and family were proud of her, but Tara felt a void in her heart.

“One night, as I sat in my Park Avenue corner office at midnight crying, I realized how truly miserable I was,” she recalls.

Tara understood that she was meant for more, and she began her journey back to her roots.

She shares, “Through much reflection, therapy, and prayer, my steps eventually became clear. Go back to ground zero – back to what truly makes me feel alive: acting and filmmaking!”

Now, she is an active and passionate content creator of women-centric narratives that challenge societal norms and advocate for self-identity.

Her debut short film, “The Unclosed Door,” won the Best Short Film at the Milan International Filmmaker Festival, and was showcased at many others, including the Silicon Beach Film Festival, Coronado Island Film Festival and Toronto Shorts International Film Festival.

But it all took a significant turn when she was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in December 2021.

This was the second time she had received a cancer diagnosis.

The first time she had been diagnosed was a few years after her father had passed away, and she acknowledges how fortunate she feels that she was able to beat that bout of thyroid cancer.

Despite the more recent and second surprising diagnosis and subsequent treatment, including a colon resection surgery and six months of chemotherapy, Tara remained undeterred.

In her own words, “When life gives you cancer, again….you make art.”

She is proud to be healed and moving forward. To celebrate this new chapter, she is initiating a month-long crowdfunding campaign for “A Moment in Time” that starts August 8th on Seed & Spark.


She believes it takes a village to fuel creativity, and given the recent strikes, as a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, she knows independent filmmaking is of the utmost importance to keep humanity grounded, growing and sane.

She shares, “Society and the world need art, especially in our current times of uncertainty. A strike won’t stop creatives—we’ll always find a way to keep creating.”

The film is inspired by her true life story of losing her father. She didn’t say, “I love you” to him before he died. This film is driven by that moment and explores the concept of unsaid words and the regrets of unfinished business after losing someone you love.

Tara says, “So many people didn’t get to say goodbye during the pandemic. What is the impact of that? How can love transcend missing the final moments with a loved one? I wanted to bring this uncomfortable conversation to the forefront.”

She adds, “When my father passed away, I wasn’t able to have the goodbye I wanted. For me, that moment snowballed into a life of isolation and a belief that I wasn’t lovable. It wasn’t until I learned relationships are more than a moment that I finally put the pieces back together.”

Parallel to her filmmaking, Tara is also launching the Tara Troy Cancer Survivor Celebration Collection—a new line of apparel that celebrates the resilience of cancer survivors—which includes unisex adult t-shirts, sweatshirts, and a women’s racerback tank, along with toddler, kids, and youth t-shirts.

“Surviving anything should be celebrated. My clothing line proudly features the powerful words: ‘Cancer Survivor’ across the chest,” she explains.

The collection aims to reduce the stigma around cancer patients and celebrates the strength of those who survive while honoring those who didn’t make it.

Ten percent of all proceeds will be donated to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. Items can be purchased on Etsy.

While her journey has been marked with personal tragedies and triumphs, Tara’s spirit remains unyielding. She reaffirms, “God’s timing is always right on time.”

After surviving the pandemic and cancer for a second time, she realizes that her upcoming project will now be an ever more powerful film to bring attention to her messages about living through loss and cancer awareness.

Tara’s story is a testament to her strength and resilience, and she believes her life purpose is to be an example and provide hope to others through her work. Whether it’s her compelling narratives, her advocacy for health awareness, or her unwavering support for her fellow artists, her impact continues to reverberate through communities and the hearts of individuals alike.

As we look forward to the launch of her crowdfunding campaign and her short film, Tara reminds us of the transformative power of storytelling and the collective healing it brings.

She leaves us with this crucial tip, “The main point is to pay attention to your health, listen to your body, and get very regular checks. If something feels off, don’t stop until you figure it out. The best Healthcare is self-advocacy.”

For more about Tara Troy and “A Moment in Time,” visit:

For more on the Tara Troy Cancer Survivor Celebration Collection, visit:

Photography by Ryan Arnell

Make-up by Vadee Chhun

Styling by Soneca Guadara

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