LEBANON, TENN. – July 10, 2009 – The 2009 Sherry’s Run is dedicated to the memory of Velma Liddle – a beautiful soul who lost her life to cancer; yet, whose memory inspires others to try to make a difference.Velma Liddle
When describing Velma, her husband David said that he just didn’t have the words to describe how special she was – “What wasn’t special about Velma?” Her friends say she was real – a person who could be depended on and whom they could count on for anything. Velma was full of truth. She was the type of person who cared more about others and put them before herself. This attribute held true during her illness as she apologized throughout to those who were taking care of her.
Her greatest loves were her God, her husband David, and her son Cody. She was very passionate about her family and especially enjoyed watching Cody play baseball. She was an engaged mom and was a fixture at the ball field – with a spirit that is deeply missed by all those who shared that passion.
She is described as a “Godly woman” – a description that mirrored her faith and actions as she continuously did for others because she felt called to do it and because it was the right thing to do. Velma lived her life – putting herself last by doing what no one else wanted to do for those whom others overlooked. That was Velma. She would pick out the children who needed her – identifying children at school who had nobody else to do something for them. She loved them, believed in them, was there for them and became that dependable someone that they could count on, without any expectation of something in return. At Walter J. Baird where she was a teacher and coach for 18 years she often bought shoes, clothes, food and even prom dresses for the children who weren’t able to get what they needed. At her funeral, those children came to pay their respects – some of them walking good distances to tell Velma’s family how much she meant to them. Without words to express their feelings, many just stood in line and in their faces you could see their sense of loss of a friend that cared for them no matter what their background or struggles.
Velma loved to sing. Her voice was strong, wide-ranging and distinctively Velma. She could move an audience to their feet. Her uplifting gift of song was heard each Sunday as she took part in the music ministry at Gladeville Baptist Church. To Velma she was living her faith in Christ ‘out loud’ and used her voice to praise Him.
Velma was diagnosed with cancer on October 15th and passed away six weeks later – on Thanksgiving Day. Not quite eight months later, David was asked by Sherry’s Run to honor Velma’s memory at this year’s event. Although the pain of her loss is still fresh, his answer was yes and he referenced Luke 12:48. It says “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” David says, “In Velma I was given much, much more than I ever deserved. So anything I can do in her memory is my way to try to give back and honor her. To Cody and me, she was truly a gift of much from God.”
She loved the community and wanted to give back to those who were hurting. Although David did explain that the attention would be the last thing that she would have wanted. “Velma would not have wanted attention brought to her; but, with so much good coming from all that Sherry’s Run does for those suffering with cancer she would have wanted to make a difference. Within Sherry’s Run, there are a lot of big hearts that want to do something to help someone else and she would have been all about that.”
Romans 8:28 reads: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” This is the verse that David says he stands on and believes that honoring Velma’s memory will help others who face what his beautiful wife faced. “This event could for our family be part of that good that came from her loss.”
Sherry’s Run honors Velma’s life and memory at the 2009 event in hopes of inspiring others who are facing cancer through her example and all that she stood for as a wife, mother, teacher, coach, friend and family member. Her beautiful smile and generous spirit made an impact on all those whose lives she touched, and she is deeply missed.
The sixth annual Sherry’s Run is scheduled for Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 8 a.m. in Lebanon, beside the main office of Wilson Bank & Trust, 623 West Main Street. Mark your calendar and make a commitment to become involved this year.
The mission of Sherry’s Run is to benefit those affected by cancer, with an emphasis on colon cancer. Sherry’s Run (www.sherrysrun.org) is a 501 (c) (3) organization. It was started in memory of Sharon “Sherry” Patterson Whitaker who died at the age of 44 from colon cancer. Donations are tax deductible and can be made online. Funds received serve also to help those locally who suffer with cancer. For more information on Sherry’s Run, please call 615-975-1081 or 615-218-8810 or visit online.