When she joined the Sherry’s Run team made up of Mt. Juliet High School basketball players last year, 14-year-old Ashley Roby wasn’t planning on being a recipient of the benefits of the run herself less than one year later.Ashley is a very competitive player on the MJHS basketball team. She made the NIKE Team this summer but won’t be able to participate because she’s preparing herself – mentally and physically – for reconstruction surgery and makes weekly visits to the Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt for expansions, scans, and counseling.
As Vanderbilt Hospital’s youngest breast cancer patient, Ashley is doing well after having had a bi-lateral mastectomy there in February 2012. After surgery, her initial scans came back clear, with no radiation or chemotherapy needed. She had a home school teacher at the end of the spring semester, as she recuperated from surgery and is preparing for reconstruction, but she still went to practice sessions with her MJHS basketball team. Ashley now is scheduled for surgery later this summer, and will have more medical follow-up care.
In the 1-14 female age group in Sherry’s Run in 2011, Ashley was in seventh place with a time of 28:36:00. In one year she would be diagnosed with breast cancer, have a bi-lateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Ashley wants to promote the Sherry’s Run event Sept. 8 because she knows first-hand how vital an impact the organization can make in the life of a cancer patient.
Ashley and her 9-year old brother, Derrick, live with their mother, Kim Dobson. A single mother, Kim works at Sprint Wireless in Mt. Juliet. During March and April, Kim had to utilize the company’s FMLA program to care for Ashley during her daughter’s surgery and recovery – no income was available for Kim during this time.
Tony Dedman, I.T. Director at Cumberland University, coordinated the school’s IT contract with Sprint through Kim and knew of her plight. He contacted Sherry’s Run for help, and Patient Assistant Director Kathy Fyke met with Kim in March. Kathy offered financial assistance through Sherry’s Run with Kim’s living expenses, including rent, utilities, groceries and gas gift cards. Kim was relieved and amazed at Sherry’s Run’s services and consideration.
But there was more to their connection – Dale Dobson, Kim’s mother-in-law was a Sherry’s Run patient and also had breast cancer, which claimed her life two years ago. The help from Sherry’s Run is working toward keeping that fate from Ashley as she rebounds from her own battle with cancer, helping her mother hold their life together and rebuild it for their future.
Supporters of Sherry’s Run have an incredible giving spirit, one that this area prides itself on. In this spirit, that the Sherry’s Run organization is truly making a difference in the lives of those who are battling cancer. The funds raised go to help cancer patients in our community, people we see often and know well, or those who hope to build a future here, like Ashley, Vanderbilt’s youngest breast cancer patient.
The ninth annual Sherry’s Run is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 8, 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 join us. Registration is open now. Log on to www.SherrysRun.org to sign up.
The mission of Sherry’s Run: Through faith and love create an environment for all those affected by cancer, which provides hope, knowledge, assistance, support and compassion. To learn more about Sherry’s Run or to refer someone who might qualify for assistance, please call (615)925-2592 or visit www.sherrysrun.org.