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Sherry’s Run Put A Smile On Our Face


Don Cousineau and his wife, Cathy, live a simple life and have always been able to make ends meet. Don says, “We’ve always believed Jesus Christ would help us through.”


In 2008, Don was diagnosed with CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia), a disease that attacks the bone marrow. For the first several years he was in the “watch and wait” stage. By 2013, the cancer had progressed and was beginning to cause problems. Three weeks after completing major surgery, Don had to begin chemotherapy treatments. After chemotherapy, he went on to have several more major surgeries due to the effect of the cancer on his bones. He had insurance, but his portion of the bills was still devastating.

For the first time, Don and Cathy found themselves in a hole they simply couldn’t climb out of on their own. Don remembered seeing information about Sherry’s Run in the newspaper and on billboards back when he was first diagnosed, but had hoped they would never need it. Now, he was sure that they did, so he contacted Tonyia Watson, Director of Patient Assistance for Sherry’s Run.

“I had just hoped for a tank of gas or some groceries,” said Don, “but, Sherry’s Run went way beyond anything we expected.” While Sherry’s Run was able to provide gas, groceries and utility bills for Don and Cathy, they were incredibly thankful for the emotional support they had found. “It was absolutely amazing to talk with Tonyia,” said Cathy. “It was real communication and you could tell she really cared about us.”

The surgeries, chemotherapy and financial burdens had begun to take their toll on Cathy emotionally, but Don said each time they received a call from Sherry’s Run it put a smile back on both of their faces. “You can deal with health issues if everything else is not on top of you,” says Don. “That’s what Sherry’s Run did for us.”

“Sherry’s Run is here to provide support and understanding when they need it most. Each time I was able to speak with Don and Cathy, it was ancouraging to hear the hope in their voices,” says Tonyia.

“Sherry’s Run is the greatest blessing we have received since Don was diagnosed. I don’t know how we would have made it without them. I encourage everyone to get involved somehow, even if it is only to give $1,” said Cathy. “We believe that prayer changes things and Sherry’s Run was an answer to our prayers.” Don is not cancer free, but has had six months of positive check ups. He and Cathy feel positive about their plans for the future, which includes giving back to Sherry’s Run.

Do you know someone like Don and Cathy? Please help Sherry’s Run put a smile back on their face by joining us at the 11th annual Sherry’s Run event on Saturday, September 13, 2014. 

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.