Sherrie Martin

 

Sherrie Martin

 

 

Sherrie Martin fell in love immediately with her husband Jeff, and celebrated their marriage and bonding with an around the world cruise in 2007, stopping at over fifty ports on every continent on earth.  From South America to New Zealand, Australia, China, Egypt and Europe, they spent three months building up a loving bond that would hold them together during the tough last three years of Sherri’s life as she battled small cell ovarian cancer.

It was in Shanghai, China that Sherri read a quote of Lao Tzu which became both hers and Jeff’s mantra that helped them through the anguishing times they faced together:  “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply give you courage.”  Forty-three year old Sherri Martin, who passed at home on August 19, had strength and courage to the end.  Her husband Jeff was at her side throughout the three year ordeal.

For the last six months of her life, she was intent on creating The Small Cell Ovarian Cancer Foundation to make other young women aware of this terrible disease.  Before passing, the foundation was created.  Her husband is intent on taking her message to all young women so no one else should suffer as she did for lack of medical awareness.

Sherrie was diagnosed in 2010 with the disease, which the doctor had said he’d never seen before.  That is understandable due to the small incidence rate and because the symptoms seemed minor and misleading.  With no family history of cancer, her initial signs of nausea, back discomfort and indigestion were not diagnosed as small cell ovarian cancer.  They seemed symptoms of simpler things…“Womanly” things.

As Sherrie’s abdominal size increased, she went to her gynecologist who immediately sent her to an oncologist.  Sherrie had a growing tumor in her body the size of a grapefruit that they removed two days later followed with six grueling weeks of chemotherapy.

Coming out of chemotherapy, Sherrie thought she had beaten the disease.  Though her PET test showed that she was cancer free, another tumor formed just two months later, growing to the size of an orange. It was removed through surgery and Sherrie had to endure more weeks of agonizing chemotherapy.

With hope that she was finally cancer free, Sherrie began planning for the future, but the disease came back a third time and she had to undergo surgery again.  This third surgery was followed by twenty-five days of radiation therapy, and five more rounds of chemotherapy.  Unfortunately, even after undergoing all surgeries and treatments, Sherrie was left with little hope by her medical team.

Desperate to survive and find a cure, Sherrie went to The Cancer Treatment Centers of America for a second opinion.  Their diagnosis was that her condition was terminal and she should go home to prepare for death.  Hospice was recommended.  Her doctors in Orlando concurred.  She should get her affairs in order and prepare to die.

But Sherrie hung on through the end of 2011.

When the tumors returned again for the fourth time in 2012, Sherrie and her husband Jeff worked together to create the Small Cell Ovarian Cancer Foundation to tell those with this disease there is hope of life with early detection, and to make all young women aware of this terrible disease that hides in everyday, subtle symptoms.

Sherrie Martin said the foundation had to reach out and say to everyone, “Never Again…never again should a young woman go through what I’ve endured because of ignorance about this terrible disease.  It is a young woman’s illness and I want all young women, their mothers and their doctors to be aware that behind what may seem like simple symptoms of common ailments may be hiding a lurking killer that needs to be caught quickly. No other young woman should die from it.”

The around the world love affair cruise bonded she and her husband together and was what they liked talking about during the months she was hospitalized.  As her husband Jeff told her, paraphrasing Aristotle before she passed, “We will be together forever because we are one soul in two bodies.”

In addition to her husband Jeff, Sherrie Martin is survived by her mother Lynn Weniken, father Richard Bollhoffer, sister Janie McMillian and stepchildren Justin, Kristin and Laurin Martin and two step grand children.

Services for Sherrie Martin will be held on Saturday, August 25th, at 1:00 PM at the Newcomer Funeral Home, 895 S. Goldenrod Rd., Orlando, FL   32822

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