Funding Sherri's Cancer Treatments

In the 1946 holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” George Bailey lived a selfless life and never realizes how much he impacted those around him until it was nearly too late. Sherri VandeSande Lonon sacrificed much in her life for her family and for the entire Tampa Bay community in much the same way George Baily did for the town of Bedford Falls.

Unfortunately, Sherri will need the support of her family, friends and the Tampa Bay community to have the Hollywood ending she deserves: To see how much of an impact she’s made on the people around her.

For nearly two months, Sherri has lived in her living room because of debilitating pain in her left shoulder and right hip. What we all thought was a return of her childhood rheumatoid arthritis was worse than we could possibly imagine: On Friday, Nov. 17, Sherri was diagnosed with metastatic cancer with spots in her bones, lung and a few other places.

Sherri will start radiation and chemotherapy treatments soon in hopes it will relieve her bone pains and allow her some normalcy, including getting back to work (as those who know Sherri will know how much this means to her), as well as spending precious time with her family.

Now that the fear of the unknown and shock of the diagnosis has passed, Sherri and her family (husband Terry, and daughters Chelsea, 18, and Ashley, 12) are ready, willing and able to fight the good fight together. But the Lonons need a leg-up to get Sherri back on the road to recovery.

Currently out of work on disability, Sherri has seen a 50 percent drop in her income. With medical bills already piling up, the Lonon family needs help to recover from the time Sherri has been out of work as well as future medical care for her. The Lonons also would like to fund a few budget-friendly bucket-list items, such as a drive to Georgia for Sherri and Terry to renew their vows, “so we don’t forget just what it is we are fighting for,” Sherri said.

Sherri has helped countless people in the Tampa Bay area through her community journalism work, holding dear to the idea that a neighborhood considering speed bumps, a community’s Veterans Day parade and a public park’s bicycle rodeo for tots means more to people than the latest salacious headlines.

From her work with the Plant City Courier, the Carrollwood News, the Town 'N Country News, the Northwest News, the 24 sites of the Tampa Bay area sites and her own hometown In The Loop covering Land O’ Lakes, Sherri has helped an amazing number of people with their own events, fundraisers, parades, bakes sales, pumpkin patches, community theater productions and school functions. Now, we’re hoping when the basket is passed around her community as it was on Christmas Eve in Bedford Falls, her dedication to the Tampa Bay area will be equally remembered.

“From the bottom of my heart, thank you to my family, friends and colleagues for all the love, prayers, well-wishes and support,” Sherri said. “It means the world.”
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Organizer and beneficiary

Amanda Lamela 
Lutz, FL
Sherri Lonon 
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