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21st Annual Sherry’s Run 5K Run/Walk: In Memory of Dr. John Pino

A loving husband, father, son, and friend to all he came in contact with, Dr. John Pino, impacted the lives of many through his cancer journey. Diagnosed with prostate cancer at only 40 years old, John and his family were shocked. He hadn’t had any symptoms, there was no family history, and the risk of prostate cancer typically does not occur until men are at least 50 years old. So, this diagnosis had never been a concern. The cancer was found during a routine physical exam when John’s bloodwork showed an abnormally high level. When biopsies were taken, it was discovered that cancer had invaded the prostate gland and surgery was needed to remove it.

            Even with the whirlwind of an unexpected diagnosis, John began to research all of the ways he could combat the disease. Being very fit and in good health, he was determined to fight. Dr. Pino was known in Lebanon for his optometry degree, but he also earned a PhD in nutrition during his battle with cancer. Although the cancer remained, John’s knowledge of health and nutrition kept him strong and he often shared his knowledge with others to encourage them throughout their own journeys. John’s wife, Ree remarked, “He made a commitment to make health a priority, and it became a theme in his life. His positivity allowed him to transform what would have been a source of suffering into a source of joy.”

            John did not allow his diagnosis to define how he would spend his life. His faith was central to everything he did and shaped his approach to his journey. He lived with such gratitude for each day and turned to prayer and scripture to sustain him. Although he had his own struggles, he was a prayer warrior for others. He was a member of two prayer groups and met over the phone with these groups weekly up until he passed. He sincerely cared about people and wrote the concerns of others down so he could pray over them. When asked what his favorite memory of his dad was, John’s son, Ryan, remembered, “Seeing dad every day, without fail, reading his Bible and praying.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8 was printed in John’s obituary. It says, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” John kept his hope in Jesus and this verse was applied to his life. He fought the fight with a strength only found in the Lord.

            Alongside his faith, John also treasured his family. He was a proud husband and father. He loved to spend time with his wife, sons, and daughters-in-law. Even through his trials, he kept a sense of humor and his laugh made others smile. His son Tyler reminisced on watching the show Shark Tank with his dad, “He would always say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” for every good product that was pitched.” John’s daughter-in-law, Yiyi shared that she loved how he enjoyed life and stayed childlike. He didn’t hesitate to catch fireflies, race on the beach, or build a snowman.

            John’s 23-year-long fight touched the lives of many. His story crossed paths with the woman who inspired Sherry’s Run. Sherry Whitaker was an employee at Dr. Pino’s optometric office until she passed away from colon cancer in 2004. Sherry and her family even lived in the same neighborhood as John and his family, their sons were around the same age and grew up together at the same school. Because of this, 21 years ago John Pino organized a team for the very first Sherry’s Run 5K event. As years passed and the event continued to grow, Dr. Pino both participated in and sponsored the 5K. This year, the 21st annual Sherry’s Run 5K Run/Walk will be held in his memory.

The 21st annual Sherry’s Run 5K Run/Walk to benefit Sherry’s Hope is scheduled for Saturday, September 14, 2024, at 8:00 a.m. Visit to register today. Come join us as we make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer right here in our community.

Sherry’s Hope is a Christian, non-profit organization that works throughout the year to provide hope to families battling cancer in Wilson County and surrounding communities by offering emotional encouragement and financial assistance. In addition, Sherry’s Hope works to spread colon health awareness by distributing free colon cancer screening tests and providing colonoscopy assistance.

To learn more about the Sherry’s Run 5K event, click here, call 615-925-2592, or email To learn more about Sherry’s Hope programs and services, click here, call 615-925-9932, or email To donate to Sherry’s Hope, click here or mail donations to Sherry’s Hope, P.O. Box 8, Lebanon, TN 37088-0008.