Stage III Renal Cancer
Chris “Pepe” Sherwin is 38 years old and he has been married to the love of his life, Kathy Gaston Sherwin for 14 years. They live in Heber City, UT where they moved from Washington State to get a taste of an active lifestyle.
Chris has always been the picture of health. An avid cyclist, skier, kiteboarder/kiteskier and canyoneer, Chris has never been one to just sit around and watch the day go by. Rather he often went from one adventure to the next.
For 8 months in 2011 Chris was battling a fatigue that he just could not shake. Told by doctors he possibly had an allergy to a metal plate in his ankle he had surgery to take it out. Pre-surgical blood work revealed there was something else going on in his body other than an allergy. Chris soon learned he had Stage III Renal (Kidney) Cancer. On January 3rd Chris checked into Huntsman Cancer Institute to have his kidney, renal vein and surrounding lymph nodes removed.
Chris and Kathy spent an expensive week at Huntsman recovering from the open abdominal surgery. Having the support of his wife by his side day and night as his advocate was a blessing. True to his character and competitive spirit, Chris was walking up to three miles daily in the Huntsman hallway, raising his personal bar daily. Chris would often have the opportunity to “lap” other patients, but would always take another route not wanting to demoralize a fellow patient.
Because of the rare type of cancer Chris has he will be going to scans every three months to see where the cancer may have reoccurred and also have Doctors visits and blood work every six weeks. He has qualified for a double blind clinical trial of Everolimus where 50% of people will get the drug and 50% will get a placebo.
Chris’s plan is to eat super healthy, avoid stress, continue to recover and not bother fretting over statistics. In other words, Chris is choosing to “Don’t Worry Be Happy”.
Chris works as a seasonal employee for Deer Valley Resort in the winter and teaches Spanish and Speech Communication to high school kids at the Winter Sports School in Park City in the summer. Although he has worked at Deer Valley for 18 years he only receives 3 sick days anually and has no disability pay. Chris will not be able to work or lift more than 10lbs for two months and will have to go without full income while taking on all the new expenses that cancer brings. Chris’s best care taker, wife Kathy, is a professional cyclist whose season has just ended leaving the two of them with little income along with accumulating medical and household bills.
While the two have always been extremely fiscally responsible their entire lives, they have found themselves in an unfamiliar territory to navigate. Please help spread this message and relieve some of cancer’s costs by buying a Don’t Worry Be Happy shirt in Chris’s name.