by Ryan Isley
Sometimes the toughest battles in sports are not being fought between the lines of the playing surface. NASCAR is no different.
While there are 16 drivers battling in the Chase for the Sprint Cup this week in New Hampshire, the person who has the most important battle doesn’t even drive a racecar. Her boyfriend does. Sherry Pollex – girlfriend of Martin Truex Jr. – announced in August that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and then underwent surgery. She has since started her chemotherapy.
Pollex is no stranger to the trials of cancer, as she is instrumental in helping the Martin Truex Jr Foundation in the fight against pediatric cancer. One of her largest accomplishments with the foundation has been starting the “Catwalk for a Cause” to help raise funds for children in need at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte.
Those who follow NASCAR on Twitter know Pollex (@SherryPollex) as one of the most interactive – and fun – tweeters among girlfriends and wives of drivers. Even after the diagnosis of cancer, Pollex was back to herself on the social media platform. When Kyle Busch wrecked Truex Jr. for no apparent reason at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Pollex took to Twitter to let her feelings be known, as she tweeted the quote about if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
What this has shown to many is that while she is battling the disease, the disease is not beating her. She is still doing what she wants to do and is not changing just because she is now in a fight for her health. By doing this, she is becoming – and should continue to become – an inspiration to women who might be battling the same disease.But it is more than that – she is an inspiration to anyone, even those who aren’t fighting cancer, just by showing the strength and fight she has already shown.
During this entire battle so far, Pollex has shown her brave side – and her strong side – when taking to social media. Many of her tweets are followed by emoticons that show a heart, praying hands, a bicep (for strength) or a fist (for the fight).
With September being ovarian cancer awareness month, there are several ways that awareness is being raised throughout the NASCAR community, which really is more like an actual community than most sports.
One way that awareness and money are being raised is through an auction by Dale Earnhardt Jr. The winner of NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver Award 11 seasons in a row, Earnhardt Jr is wearing teal (the color for ovarian cancer awareness) driving gloves for each race in September and then auctioning them off. Truex Jr drove for Earnhardt Jr and Chance2 Motorsports when Martin was in the then-NASCAR Busch Series (now Nationwide Series) and won two series championships in 2004 and 2005.
Also to help raise awareness, the cars at Stewart-Haas Racing will have a teal ribbon decal with Pollex’s name on them. Of course, the lone female driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Danica Patrick – drives for Stewart-Haas, making their team the perfect place for an awareness decal.
The support from the NASCAR community as a whole shows what those of us on Twitter have already known – just how special of a woman Sherry Pollex is. She will have the entire sport of NASCAR – and their fans – backing her throughout this journey as she still has a long battle ahead. But seeing the fight she has put forth already, it is safe to see that cancer picked the wrong person.
For more information on ovarian cancer, visit Cancer.org’s page on ovarian cancer
Comments? Questions? You can leave them here or email Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect with him on Twitter @isley23.