The lives of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. and his girlfriend, Sherry Pollex, were changed forever this past summer when Pollex was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Pollex underwent surgery on Aug. 15, with Truex missing practice and qualifying sessions at Michigan International Speedway to be with her. Since then, the couple has had to find ways to carry on as she battles the hideous disease.
“We lived our life in fourth gear,” Pollex said recently to USA Today’s Mike Hembree. “We were constantly running … So adjusting to a new normal and having to put your life in first gear and learn that your body can’t run like that any more is the biggest adjustment for me.”
“It’s been a roller-coaster ride,” adds Truex, who also told Hembree he thought about taking the rest of the Cup season off (and was given an option to do so by his Furniture Row Racing team).
“You go through all different emotions from sad to mad, why the hell, why us. But at the end of the day, we’re no different from anybody else who’s had cancer.”
As part of a moving story, Hembree also details how her cancer diagnosis altered the couple’s consideration at the time of having their first child.
“There was no time to think about the fact that I was devastated that I could never be a mother,” Pollex says. “I don’t know what hit me worse – the devastation that I couldn’t carry my own child or the devastation that I had Stage III cancer. To hear all that in a matter of five minutes – it was so hard.”
Pollex is set to have weekly chemotherapy treatments into the New Year.
But while she receives treatment, she continues to work to ensure that the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation continues one of its main missions: Helping kids battle pediatric cancer.
She also hopes to raise more awareness about ovarian cancer, which she believes does not receive as much attention as other cancers in the bigger picture.
“…With earlier diagnosis, I would have had a survival rate of 85 percent,” she tells Hembree. “My survival rate now is less than 30. … All I can do right now is fight and try to help other women so they don’t make the same mistake.”
For more on the MTJ Foundation, visit its website at MartinTruexJrFoundation.org.