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Sherry’s Run Patient Pays Forward The Encouragement

LEBANON, TENN. – August 11, 2014 – Don Walker, age 63, is a husband, father, grandfather, driving and safety instructor, Christian and retired member of the U.S. coastguard. But perhaps the best word to describe him is encourager. Don was diagnosed with stage three esophageal cancer in September, 2013, but his spirit and attitude have remained positive. 

When Don’s wife, Kim, first submitted the paperwork to become a Sherry’s Runpatient, she was unsure what to expect. She quickly realized that the support from Sherry’s Run goes far beyond helping to pay the bills. “It was such a relief just knowing someone was there to guide you,” says Kim. 

“We are able to provide so much more than just financial assistance to patients, says Tonyia Watson, Director of Patient Assistance. “We offer guidance through obstacles that patients may not be equipped to handle. Through our many community resources, we help patients navigate while offering them encouragement and support. We want each family to know that we truly care about them.” 

Because Don’s cancer was already at a stage three, he immediately began 12 weeks of chemotherapy and radiation. When asked how the treatment made him feel Don said, “At first I was fine. Every time I went in for a treatment I would try to shake hands with the other patients and lift their spirits a little.”

Kim even made awareness ribbons, bracelets and bookmarks to hand out at each of their visits. “It’s so important to keep a positive attitude,” says Don. 

As the treatments continued, Don began to feel very sick. “When you’re that sick, you can’t think about anything except what is going on with your body,”says Don. “That is why it was such a blessing to talk with Tonyia. She was so peaceful, caring and calm.” The encouragement goes both ways according toTonyia, “It is such a blessing to be able to offer assistance to the Walkers. My greatest joy is in seeing the positive attitudes and faith they have shown during this battle.” 

As Don and Kim speak about the support they have received from friends and family, Kim begins to tear up. “It is unbelievable how many people in this community support Sherry’s Run.” she says. “We are definitely walking this year!  We just want to be a part of what Sherry’s Run is doing.” You have an opportunity to be a part of what Sherry’s Run is doing for people like the Walkers this September. 

Come join us as we make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer right here in our community. The eleventh annual Sherry’s Run is scheduled for Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. at 623 West Main Street in Lebanon.

Mark your calendar and make a commitment to join us. REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! Log on to to sign up. 

Your support allows us to assist cancer patients 52 weeks a year with gas, groceries, utility bills, housing payments, prescription assistance, health insurance premiums, medical bills, and colonoscopy assistance. 

To learn more about Sherry’s Run, please call 615-925-2592. To refer someone who might qualify for assistance, please call 615-925-9932 or visit 

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.