Profile: Brian Sherman


A Caring Uncle Lends a Helping Hand

Brian Sherman was simply looking for a way to honor his nephew... "Anyone who knows his story knows what a fighter he is." Brian says, "He was given three to six months to live. That was two years ago."

Brian's 10 year old nephew had terminal liver cancer. His family knew he would not live to see adulthood. While watching his nephew suffer was heartbreaking, Brian also witnessed how the pain of cancer affected his entire family. "It is obviously hard for the person who is diagnosed, but it is also devastating for everyone who loves that person."
For Brian - the Human Resources Director at Dignity Health's Sacramento System Office - that sense of heartbreak and grief is what led him and his wife Shannon to try and find a way to help others while honoring their nephew. They wanted to support other families facing the emotional and physical challenges of a cancer diagnosis.

For Brian, that goal was simple. "I wanted to provide something - not just money, but something bigger - that would impact children and impact cancer patients in a very positive way. The idea that we could help someone experiencing the devastating effect of a cancer diagnosis... It seemed like the perfect way to memorialize my nephew."

Brian and Shannon gave a gift that will create a children's art therapy program at the Dignity Health Cancer Center. The Sherman's gift will fund the program for five years and will benefit children whose parents or family members have been diagnosed with cancer. "This program will help children process their grief in creative and constructive ways," explains Lynn Smiley, Senior Director of Oncology Services for Sacramento's Dignity Health Hospitals. "Many cancers are treatable, which is great, but that means families are living with this diagnosis and its effects for many years. Support is critical."

For Brian and Shannon Sherman, being able to provide some of that support is a gift with no price tag. "Cancer devastates families. Our hope is to have a positive impact on families facing that devastation."

On Dec. 28, 2012, Brian Sherman"s nephew passed away. His spirit will live on through the children who will experience comfort and support through the art therapy program.

Brian's gift benefitted the Dignity Health Cancer Institute. If you'd like to lend your support to the Dignity Health Cancer Institute - while having fun with girlfriends - attend the Spring into Style event at the Roseville Galleria on Friday, April 12 from 5 to 8 p.m. Purchase your tickets here.

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