Bryant native Sherri Jones has dedicated the last decade of her life to eliminating cancer through her work with the American Cancer Society. As a fundraiser, Sherri understands the mission to eliminate cancer worldwide, but over the last ten years cancer has affected her friends and family and strengthened her resolve.
“When I first joined the American Cancer Society, I lost a friend to breast cancer,” said Sherri. “She had two boys who were the same age as my daughters. Moments like that really hit home.”
Throughout the next few years, Sherri would lose several family members and friends to cancer. “My aunt, uncle, mother-in-law, three friends and my mother were diagnosed,” says Sherri. “Cancer hit my family hard. It’s the continued motivation not only on a professional level but a personal level as well.”
As the Director of Community Development for the American Cancer Society, she fundraises to ensure patients and their families have the resources they need to fight cancer and eventually provide cures. Sherri’s mother’s cancer now has a new treatment available due to cancer research funding. The very work that Sherri has dedicated herself to is helping her mother’s fight against cancer.
On Saturday, September 2, 2017, you can join in the fight against cancer by participating in the Coaches vs. Cancer event at the Salt Bowl as Benton and Bryant High School football teams go head to head.
As a nationwide partnership with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the American Cancer Society, Coaches vs. Cancer was created to empower coaches, their players and their fans to join in the fight against cancer.
Coaches vs. Cancer now encompasses every sport and has grown to include the games at collegiate and high school levels. The program has helped the American Cancer Society raise $100 million in the fight against cancer.
Salt Bowl fans can pledge a donation per point scored for your favorite team or donate to the American Cancer Society. You can set up your pledge online at https://pledgeit.org/matchup/saltbowl. The Salt Bowl will mark the first high school football game in the nation to use the online platform Pledge It. Proceeds from the event will benefit the American Cancer Society.
The school who wins the pledge campaign will win a Coaches vs. Cancer trophy. “With so many people in the Saline County area who have been affected by cancer, it’s important to support the members of our community that are battling this disease. Tying it in with the Salt Bowl offers a fun and competitive way for the community to be involved by giving to a great cause and it teaches students at Benton and Bryant about the importance of community involvement and philanthropy.”
Until a cure is found for every cancer, Sherri knows one of the most powerful resources a patient can have is a caregiver who will be by their side. “As a caregiver, you’re an advocate for the patient,” she says. “You’ve got to be tenacious, look up information, ask questions and seek out options. Being in that role personally gave me a whole new perspective.”
Sherri’s motivation to keep fighting also stems from the progress the American Cancer Society has made over the last ten years in cancer research. “There are more people surviving cancer, and the number of deaths is decreasing,” says Sherri. “We certainly have a long way to go, but we are now seeing cures and vaccinations for certain types of cancers. Over the last decade, we’ve seen so much change in cancer treatment and screening. It’s inspiring to see the cancer research dollars improving the lives of those around us, including my own family.
Working to ensure the next generation has a better chance of finding cures for cancer is at the heart of Sherri’s work. “There’s a strong chance that either myself or one of my children may be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime due to our family history,” says Sherri. “This is why I keep fighting. Sometimes you think ‘why did God put me here?’ God showed me why I’m here through my families journey and the individuals I meet daily that have been diagnosed. It’s not a job; it’s a mission field.”
According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that more than 1.6 million people will hear the words “you have cancer” in 2017. The American Cancer Society is available to provide resources to patients, their caregivers, and their families. You can find out more information about the resources that are available by visiting www.cancer.org or calling the 24-hour hotline 1-800-227-2345.
To find out more about how you can be involved in the Salt Bowl Coaches vs. Cancer challenge visit https://pledgeit.org/matchup/saltbowl and make your pledge today. To learn more about how to join the fight on a local level contact Sherri Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.