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Make Your Bottom Your Top Priority


It is a six letter word that has impacted all of our lives. It is no respecter of persons and if you think it cannot touch you, you are wrong. Chances are if you are reading this, you have been impacted in some way by cancer.



It is because of this impact that so many choose to support Sherry’s Run, a local grassroots non-profit that provides support for cancer patients and their families. Many of the teams and sponsors that support Sherry’s Run do so because of one special person in their lives that has been impacted by this dreaded disease.

Children’s Medical Group in Hermitage, Tennessee became a sponsor of Sherry’s Run in 2014, when one special member of their team was diagnosed with colon cancer. Dr. Christina Steger has dedicated much of her life to the health and wellness of her patients, so when she was diagnosed with colon cancer her colleagues wanted to honor her by giving to Sherry’s Run and even formed a team to participate in the event.

Dr. Steger was diagnosed in August of 2014 soon after she noticed some irregular bleeding. “Now, looking back, I realize I had ignored my symptoms for about a year,” says Steger. “If I could tell people one thing it would be, just do what your doctor tells you to do.” Dr. Steger admits that her doctor had been encouraging her for several years to have a colonoscopy, but she continued to put it off. “I hope my story will encourage others to be proactive about their health,” says Steger.

Dr. Steger went through surgery and six months of chemotherapy. She is now in remission and feeling great. Children’s Medical Group continues to honor her as a sponsor of the run, but this year they are taking it a step further. In an effort to encourage Wilson County residents and those in the surrounding communities to get tested, they are offering a $350 cash prize to one lucky person who completes and returns the FIT test kit by April 30, 2016. Test kits are available for FREE through the Sherry’s Run office. Simply call or text 615.925.2592 and provide your name and address and the number of kits you would like to order. There will be a blind drawing from all of the names on kits that are returned to select the winner.

The symptoms of colon cancer are so common that they often go ignored until it is too late. If you experience some combination of these, we encourage you to make an appointment with your gastroenterologist immediately:

  • A change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool, that lasts longer than four weeks
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

The American Cancer Society recommends that everyone take the FIT test once a year, but it does not take the place of a colonoscopy. Everyone age 50 and above should have a colonoscopy and follow your physician’s recommendations for any follow up testing if needed. If you have a family history of colon cancer, the recommendations are to have a colonoscopy 10 year before your family member age at time of their diagnosis.  Please do not wait – schedule a colonoscopy today!

If your physician has not recommended that you have a colonoscopy and you are age 50 and above or have a family history, please ask your doctor to refer you to a gastroenterologist for testing. 

“Sherry’s Run believes strongly in the importance of prevention as a part of fighting cancer in this community,” says Tonyia Watson, Director of Patient Assistance for Sherry’s Run. “The Sherry’s Run family is here for those who are battling cancer, BUT we dream of a day when there is no longer a need for Sherry’s Run because cancer has been defeated!”

Corrie Cluck

Faith, courage, optimism and a desire to help others were qualities that defined Sharon “Sherry” Patterson Whitaker. Both before and after the energetic wife and mother was diagnosed with colon cancer, the impression she made on her family, friends and community was undeniable. While her battle in the flesh was lost in 2004, the spirit she had shown throughout life continues to touch more lives every day. Because of Sherry’s Run, a 5K run/walk benefit organized in Sherry’s memory, area cancer victims and their families can make strides toward becoming cancer survivors, and researchers are a small step closer to stopping the disease for good.