2018 Jingle Bell Run Honorees

Sherry Anderson
Adult Honoree

Sherry Anderson remembers the first nagging shoulder pain that wouldn't go away. By the time she started having difficulty turning the key in her door, Sherry knew something was very wrong.  Six months after her mother had passed away from breast cancer, it was like the grief had soaked deep into her bones.  Her doctor initially diagnosed her with Fibromyalgia but when the medications didn't work, she recommended Sherry see a rheumatologist. After initial trial and error with medications, the pain and related health issues slowly receded. But the disease and grief left a sad and broken person in its wake. During her darkest hours, Sherry remembers her sister reminding her that she was strong and feisty like their mother.  Sympathetic friends and family members also helped, but some of them missed the old Sherry, and she felt shame for not being the person she once was. After reading an article in the Arthritis Foundation magazine, she sought help through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It taught her to focus on the positives - health and life in all its most adventurous and mundane moments. Today, with the assistance of her therapist and a personal trainer, she is focused on regaining strength and balance.  She is not yet in remission, but Sherry is determined.  She continues to work full time in disaster recovery, but also volunteers at Audubon Zoo and produces short films.  She is grateful for the team that helped bring her back to life, and looks forward to shaping her own future and watching it unfold. 


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