A dreary Saturday morning in Mooresville, N.C., did not dampen the spirits of over 60 riders in this year’s SherryStrong Spin-Along. First timers, three-time pedalers as well as the Slader family who once again made the return trip all the way from Ohio, hopped on bikes fueled by enthusiasm to support Sherry and her fight to help women battling ovarian cancer.
This year’s event held on February 23rd at the Lowe’s YMCA in Mooresville, N.C., consisted of three spin classes. Those who could not be in attendance, including Martin who was in Atlanta for the Cup race, virtual rode and raised money on their social media channels.
“I want to thank everyone for their support,” Sherry said. “It’s amazing the number of people who turned up to spin or virtual ride from all over the country. Their participation means so much to us. I know spinning is super hard, especially the third class we had. That instructor challenged all of us, but it wasn’t and isn’t as hard as chemotherapy. So we spun our way through each class knowing it was for all the women at home or in treatment who couldn’t spin for themselves because of this horrible disease. We did it for them. They were our motivation and it was well worth it!”
Kyle Rogers planned on taking his normal spin class after traveling all week, but saw on the website his class was cancelled. Instead of staying home and doing something else, he signed up for the first SherryStrong spin session.
“I was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year,” said Rogers who resides in Mooresville. “I had surgery in July. I just had my sixth-month PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) test and it came back clear. I’m happy. Any time I can give money and support any cause that strives to find a cure for cancer, I help. It’s the right thing to do.”
Tatianna Papis, wife of Max Papis who raced against Martin in NASCAR and provides the Max Papis Innovations custom teal and gold steering wheels for our annual “Drive for Teal and Gold” campaign, attends many Martin Truex Jr. Foundation and SherryStrong events. She knows the power that comes in numbers.
“I was at the very first Catwalk and as her friend, I was with her during her ovarian cancer diagnosis,” Papis explained. “I want to do all I can to help all the women suffering from this disease. I don’t normally work out, but I knew I could do this. I wanted to be here to support those who can’t ride because of their diagnosis. I did it for them.”
Tatianna and her son, Matteo, also donated a SherryStrong box and wrote a personal message for the future recipient of the box. Sherry personally designed the box based on her own experiences during treatment and to give comfort to anyone going through chemotherapy. “There is no one who impersonates the “never-give-up” attitude than Sherry. I don’t know how she does it. It was important to tell the patient that they are not alone. There are people like me, Sherry, and all the Spin-Along riders that are fighting for them during moments when they think they can’t. For all I know, it could be me next so it’s important for them to know we have that support from each other.”
During Spin-Along, Sherry hosted two Facebook Lives for anyone from anywhere to tune in to see all the heart-pumping festivities. Over 3,500 views were generated with many going on to visit the event website to make a donation.
“It was amazing to see the power of social media,” elaborated Sherry. “I don’t think people understand how every bit counts, even $20 helps a patient in need. At one point I noticed over $1,000 in donations were raised during our Facebook Live at the 9:30 a.m. class! That’s incredible.”
Speaking of incredible, this year Sherry added a new Spin-Along incentive — the chance to win 10 sets of two Hot Passes to any Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race as well as a personal meet-and-greet with her and Martin. All spinners, virtual riders and anyone who made a donation of $25 or more were eligible and entered into the random drawing. A total of 700 entries were received. The winners will be notified in the coming weeks so stay tuned to find out who won!
Of course this event could not have been possible without the wonderful sponsors and partners. A special thanks goes out to Garmin, Bass Pro Shops, Dala Casa Landscape Management, Lavendar Boutique, Teal Diva, EKC Natural Deodorant, Sweet Dreams Mattress, Susan Kromer Designs, Inc., and SunTrust Sports & Entertainment.
Stay up to date by following the MTJ Foundation and SherryStrong on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.