Never Be Defeated Archive
2016 Never Be Defeated Award Recipients
Sherri Sahs Valencic
Unlike many, Sherri’s cancer story started when most of us were joy riding in cars, going to dances, sneaking beers, attending parties and generally living the carefree life of a teenager. At age 16 Sherri was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Sherri was a state swimmer, a cheer-leader and a leader among her peers. She faced her cancer quietly with her mother beside her. She faced radiation and chemotherapy with grace and strength beyond her years. She kicked cancer’s butt at age 16! She continued with her full life of school and friends until at age 19 the beast reared its ugly head again.
Over the years Sherri had a hip replaced, a full hysterectomy, multiple cancers removed from her skin, and ultimately at age 46 open heart surgery to bypass the arteries that had been damaged by the radiation. Through all these health issues Sherri exhibited an unsurpassed positive attitude and always found a way to continue to work, travel and live life to its fullest.
In April of 2016 Sherri went for her routine mammogram at which time they found early stage cancer in her left breast. With her history, it was a no brainer to schedule the double mastectomy. Little did Sherri know that this would be no ordinary surgical procedure. Due to the fact that she had radiation and the scarring from her open heart surgery, the skin would not heal. She spent many days at Northwestern Women’s Hospital in Chicago, suffering a great deal of pain and enduring leech therapy. Yes I said leech! They used them to circulate the blood to the healing skin. But that is not where her story has ended. Sherri has had to have 2 more surgical procedures, her last being June 2nd. Sherri is fun loving, generous and above all Sherri is a fighter and has been given this award for her courageous 40 year battle against cancer.
Cheryl and Gary Rabine
Cheryl Rabine has always been a selfless focused leader, her compassion for others has led her to dedicating her time to many Faith, Family, Business and Philanthropic causes. Over the past 30 years Cheryl has put in time serving in the Rabine Group companies in many different aspects from helping with office management to managing properties. In her 20’s she was a hair stylist who worked in a salon until kids came along and she transitioned to cutting hair at home. In every role Cheryl has ever taken on in Family, Business and Philanthropy she has always worked hard to understand the role and was never happy until she could excel.
On Friday, June 3rd Cheryl had a MRI after experiencing headaches and dizziness. At 1pm on the following Monday Cheryl was called and informed of a mass in her right front lobe. Within 18 hours on Tuesday morning Cheryl was rushed into emergency brain surgery because of major swelling and bleeding. A fast recovery looked imminent as Cheryl was sitting up in the hospital chair 20 hours after surgery but at 30 hours later things began going wrong again. Swelling and bleeding began again and less than 2 days later in the first hour of Thursday morning Cheryl was rushed into the operating room again for what was looked upon by our surgeon as a very risky but vital surgery. 210 minutes later the surgeon came to the waiting room with a look of relief. He said because of the great health Cheryl had kept herself in, her vitals were super strong throughout a tough surgery and she did great. Today armed with great Faith, Family and Friends, Cheryl is preparing to defeat an evil enemy, a brain cancer called Anaplastic Oligodenroglioma, just as she has done her whole life in anything she sets out to do, she will excel at this as well.