Sunday, September 6, 2015

Darlington: This Battle Isn't for the Trophy

Sherry Pollex Saturday at Darlington
Credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs
Alright Ladies, listen up. This one is for you.

Retro. Throwback. Classic. Vintage. All words you’ve probably heard hundreds of times this weekend. Darlington is returning to its roots Sunday night with the running of the Bojangles’ Southern 500. Without a doubt, the cars zooming through the Sprint Cup Series garage are cool. They give you a sense of nostalgia.

In the midst of these commemorative designs sits the black No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet piloted by Martin Truex Jr. It’s not a flashy car that says, “oh look at me” but it might be the most important car on the track.

Why?

That’s easy. This car symbolizes the fight that countless women around the world are up against. Ovarian cancer.

According to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, more than 22,000 women in the United States were diagnosed with this disease in 2014. One of those was Sherry Pollex. Outside the NASCAR world Pollex isn’t a name most people would recognize. She doesn’t don a firesuit and make her living going 200 mph. Instead, Pollex stands alongside the team during the pre-race ceremony and cheers for her favorite driver, long-time boyfriend Martin Truex Jr.

Following her diagnosis of Stage III ovarian cancer, Pollex had surgery to remove her ovaries, spleen, appendix, part of her stomach and fallopian tubes. Surgery was followed by chemotherapy and today, she’s in remission. That doesn’t mean her fight is over.

This weekend Truex and Pollex are taking their fight to the track to raise awareness for this disease that will affect one in 75 women in the US.

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and the usual orange lettering on the Furniture Row Chevrolet has been replaced with teal. The Ovarian Cancer Awareness colors can be seen on the hood, roof, quarter panels and rear bumper. Inside the car, Truex will hold a teal accented steering wheel and wear teal-accented gloves.

In addition to Truex, Danica Patrick, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will wear teal-accented gloves. Many of these will later be auctioned off through The NASCAR Foundation.

A racecar can’t stop women from having to endure the nightmare of a diagnosis, but it might help women feel like they aren’t alone in their journey. It might give them the boost they need to get through their next treatment. It has the power to save lives through raising awareness.

So, ladies as you watch this weekend’s action from The Lady in Black, take a minute to give thought to those who are fighting and those who have lost the battle. Statistically speaking, ovarian cancer is more prevalent in those 55-64, but it can strike at any time. Pollex was in her early 30s at the time of diagnosis.

For more information visit www.ovariancancer.org.

NEVER GIVE UP bracelets designed by Truex and Pollex can be purchased for $4 through martintruexjr.com with proceeds going to ovarian cancer awareness and research.

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