On her first day of chemo, Sherry Wallace sashayed into Duke Cancer Center dressed to the nines. (photo above)
The bold fashion statement was thanks to Wallace’s support team—her sister Nina Jackson; brother-in-law James Jackson; and husband Lenell Wallace — all of whom took a creative approach to make her cancer treatment process a “celebration” of sorts.
When Wallace, 54, of Durham, was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in March 2014, Duke medical oncologist Kimberly Blackwell, MD, surgical oncologist Aimee Mackey, MD, and radiation oncologist Janet Horton, MD, developed a treatment plan for her that included surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
Over a period of three and half months, Wallace arrived for her chemo treatments with her “mod squad” in tow. Dressed to impress, the fashionistas would make any red carpet style expert proud.
“Having driven to Durham from her home in Charlotte, Jackson always showed up the night before treatment with an overstuffed shopping bag,” said Wallace, her smile broadening as she recalled the memories. In the bag would be trendy outfits.. There would always be a selection of dresses, shoes and jewelry from which I could choose to wear to the next day’s infusion. Staff at the cancer center began to expect me to glide through the doors, stop at the front desk, pose and make a half turn to show off the day’s fashion ensemble. It was fun and took my mind off the negative effects of my cancer diagnosis and treatment.”
To document her different looks, Wallace’s sister took photos of her in each new outfit.
“It was a nice way to take something that was really kind of messed up and make it fun,” she said. “It’s simple – when you look good, you feel better inside and out.”
Wallace and her team, Team Sherry Wallace, will take a different kind of walk on Saturday, June 13, when they step out for the Komen Triangle Race for the Cure.
“I’m not going to call what we’re doing racing,” said Wallace, who serves as director of MBA admissions for the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. “We’re walking.”
The Komen Triangle Race For the Cure is held yearly at Meredith College in Raleigh. The event raises millions of dollars to help keep science moving forward toward better treatments and a cure.
“I want women diagnosed with breast cancer to know they don’t have to fear the worst,” said Wallace. I’m going to be a light with the hope that I can help reduce anxiety for others facing this cancer journey.”
Since its first Race in 1997, the Komen Triangle Race for the Cure has raised nearly $15 million. Funds are used locally for breast cancer research, education, advocacy, health services and social programs. Seventy-five percent of the net funds raised support education, screening and treatment programs in our local communities; 25 percent support cutting-edge national breast cancer research to develop treatments and find the cures. Last year, Susan G. Komen awarded $2 million in national breast cancer research grants to Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The 2015 Komen Triangle Race for the Cure, a 3.1 mile walk/run, will be held Saturday, June 13, at Meredith College in Raleigh. Team Duke Cancer Institute, led by honorary captain Kimberly Blackwell, MD, will walk with one goal in mind – finding cures for breast cancer.
“My team and I are very excited to participate in our first Komen walk,” said the fashionista. “You can bet we will be flawless, all pretty in pink.”
The 2015 Komen Triangle Race for the Cure is presented locally by Duke Cancer Institute. To donate to Team Sherry Wallace or to register for the race, visit komennctc.org.
circle photo: Sherry Wallace, 54, doesn't let treatment for breast cancer keep her from striking a pose in her newest outfit, hand selected by her sister just for chemo infusion day.