“Many of our corporate sponsors have been with us for five, 10 or even 15 years,” said Jane Hay, Sherry’s Run executive board member. “So many of the business owners give because they care and want to give back to their community.”
One such faithful sponsor is Absolute Kubota co-owner Matt Bryson. Bryson, born and raised in Wilson County, cares for his community and, for that reason, was a dedicated sponsor of Sherry’s Run for many years. This year, however, the Sherry’s Run event takes on a whole new meaning for the Bryson family. Bryson’s wife, B.J., will participate as a cancer survivor.
In October 2017, the Brysons returned from a fall break vacation with their two daughters. B.J. Bryson noticed she hadn’t felt well for several weeks, but she soon received news that she was pregnant and assumed she experienced normal pregnancy symptoms.
Just a few days after visiting her obstetrician, B.J. Bryson received an unexpected call. A young mom, otherwise healthy and happy, got the devastating news she faced a cancer diagnosis. It was a rare form of cancer called trophoblastic disease, and it was aggressive.
“I remember sitting in the restaurant just after leaving the doctor’s office,” said B.J. Bryson. “I was watching everyone around me going about their lives and thinking, ‘my world has stopped.’”
Soon after, she began a six-month battle with chemotherapy treatments every week. There were some scary moments, including a collapsed lung and weeks when her body stopped responding to the chemo.
“There were times when I felt like I simply couldn’t take another one,” said B.J. Bryson, “but Matt never left my side and my friends and family rallied around me. You don’t really understand how much you are loved until you go through something like this.”
Matt Bryson even sought after a shared community for his wife and found other women in the area who had walked through her same journey. They became an invaluable support for his wife.
“I understand why Sherry’s Run is so needed in our community,” said B.J. Bryson. “It’s not just about the financial support...it’s about having someone to walk through it with you.”
She is currently almost three months cancer free and gearing up to have a big team for this year’s Sherry’s Run 5K Run-Walk event.
“This experience has changed me from the inside out,” said B.J. Bryson. “I know God has a plan for me, and I am ready to use this for His glory. We were so overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of this community, and we just want to pay that forward any way we can.”
“Each year, we select a cancer survivor to honor at the run, and it was such an easy decision this year,” said Hay. “Matt and B.J. are such a blessing to our community, and we are grateful for the opportunity to honor them in this way.”
Registration is open for the 15th-annual Sherry’s Run 5K Run-Walk scheduled for Sept. 8 at 8 a.m. at 623 W. Main St. in Lebanon. Register or join a team at sherrysrun.org. Join Sherry’s Run as it makes a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer in the local community.
Support allows Sherry’s Run 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, call 615-925-2592. To refer someone who might qualify for assistance, call 615-925-9932 or visit sherrysrun.org.