Cancer delivers more than enough rough moments, so when we get exciting news, we want to celebrate it loudly!
Today, we want to thank the more than 1,000 employees at Auto-Owners Insurance who rallied together and, along with a match from the company, donated $75,000 to the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation, many as donations in memory of or honor of loved ones touched by ovarian or childhood cancers.
Before the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 8, Auto-Owners Insurance executives Mary Pierce and Jon Riekse surprised Martin with the $75,000 donation and a card bearing the name of every employee who donated.
“We just wanted him to know all of us are here for him and Sherry,” Mary explained. “We are proud of his work on the track and their commitment to the work of the foundation. Martin is a remarkable driver and person, a true professional, no matter what challenge he is facing.”
“I’ve been to a lot of sporting events in my lifetime, and the moment that Mary and I shared with Martin will stick with me forever,” Jon shared. “When you add in the fact that he won the race, it really was the perfect day for all of us. Martin embodies so many of the core values that Auto-Owners believes in, and we couldn’t be prouder to have him as our driver.”
After a whirlwind day both on and off track, Martin took some time to reflect on the encounter he shared with Mary and Jon inside his motorhome.
“It really blew me away,” Martin said of the donation by employees at Auto-Owners Insurance, which is in its second year sponsoring the No. 78 team. “I had no idea they had this campaign going on. It was pretty cool to feel their support for what Sherry and I are doing.”
Auto-Owners employees had been following Martin’s career on the track and knew the challenges he and Sherry faced as she first recovered from stage 3 ovarian cancer and had a recurrence in summer 2017. The fundraising campaign, called “Race with Martin,” invited employees to have the name of their choice emblazoned on the No. 78 at the Nov. 12 race in Phoenix – and donations immediately poured in.
Chris VanArsdall, an Auto-Owners employee who helped coordinate the project, watched her inbox flood with responses to the invitation for employees to donate.
“We sent an email, and within 15 minutes we had over 500 donations,” she said. “The phone started ringing, and associates wanted to know if they could give more, to add the names of their friends and family members to the car. I said, ‘Of course!’ We heard stories of associates requesting names in honor of their co-workers, and grandchildren who had passed away because of ovarian or pediatric cancer. Others had grandchildren currently battling pediatric cancer.
“I sat at my desk, many days in tears, reading the stories and messages that came from our associates, thanking us for giving them opportunity to give, and be a part of the cause. It was a very humbling experience for me.”
Martin’s emotions broke through hours after receiving the donation and card covered in names and just moments after he won the Bank of America 500. “You just try to keep it all in,” he said, after describing the Auto-Owners surprise donation and noting Sherry had to watch the win from home, after starting chemotherapy to treat a relapse.
“We’re so grateful,” Sherry said. “Saying ‘thank you’ just doesn’t seem enough. We really want everyone at Auto-Owners to know how touched we are and how meaningful this donation was to us.
“We can’t wait to see the No. 78 wrapped in names of all the associates who so generously supported our cause.”
just wanted to wish Martin and Sherry good luck at homestead. my Mom pasted from ovarian cancer. So many of my prayers go out to you both, I understand.. Been a nascar fan for 40 plus years. Davey Allison was my driver then Jeff Burton, now Martin will be my driver,Sherry you would be my Mom’s hero.
You, Martin, your foundation and all cancer sufferers are in my prayers. May God hold each of you in His hands and bless you all.
My wife Kaye has been battling ovarian cancer for five years now. We wish to thank you for all that you are doing. Words cannot explain the things you two are doing. Ovarian Cancer needs someone like you guys. Thank y’all so much for your time and effort. Also congrats to Martin for winning the championship tonight. Could not have happen to a better man. God Bless!!
I have been to several races . As I sit and look back at all the races , the last was Taladega. I never thought I would be facing cancer . Mine is breast cancer , with some in my lymphnodes. Facing Chemo ahead . I look at Sherry and Martin as inspiration. I tell my bf to please read every article you can find about Martin . I figure him being a NASCAR Jeff Gordon fan . He can relate to Martin ( being a man) . I have a road ahead , but if there is any book , article , anything more that my bf can read . Please email it . firstname.lastname@example.org . I just need him to have some understanding like Martin does. Thanks in advance.
Sherry/Martin, you guys inspire me so much! Sherry, I’ve been following you and your progress for years and admire what you are doing for others as you fight the battle of your life. My Mother lost her battle but always said never give up and continue to give and be kind…good karma always brings karma. She was always right!!! Sending big congrats to Martin on the championship, he is so well deserved. I danced around the living room the last five laps cheering Martin on….sooooooo happy for guys. Good things happen to good people. Stay Strong!
Sherry I am so happy for you and Martin tonight! I think one of the reasons he won the championship tonight is because of you! You are such an optimistic and sweet person and he won it for you. I know he worked hard all season but with you by his side he can do anything! You are an inspiration to me!! Good luck!!
Martin first things first,congrats on your championship and a wonderful season!! More to come!! There are special places and people in this world and you and Sherry are two of them!! Can’t say enough about your character, your drive ,your commitment to racing and cancer research!! You both are class acts!! God bless you both!!! Continue the fight, commitment to the cause,never loose sight of the goal!!! That is who you two are!!
God bless Sherry.. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, as you kick it again..
I always look for you after Martin wins (and enjoyed seeing your beautiful hair grow 🙂 When you weren’t in the background after he had a big win, I knew something was wrong. I recently moved from Troutman, NC to Independence, VA (near Galax) and just now learned of your setback. I am praying for you and look for your next appearance after Martin’s next win. He is already a winner with you on his team!! I’m the one you met at “Painting With A Twist” in Mooresville. This Saturday, 3/17, marks my 13th year survivorship of Ovarian Stage III cancer. My last encounters with Gyn-Onc, Hem-Onc, Gastro Drs didn’t go well before moving. I have trouble digesting food and am down to 105 lbs this past year (-40). When the Gastro Dr said “this is basically the beginning if the end for you” he prescribed and prescribed a stronger anti-depressant I said to myself ‘no, buddy, this is the beginning of the end for you’! I went to Dr. Lynne Ward at Foundations for Health in Cornelius. Finally, I got the help I needed and am doing well on Holistic meds. My niece, a Naturapathic doctor in Mexico, said Congratulations on finally going to a REAL doctor! I thought of changing doctors to Wake Forest/Baptist but for now will go to Moorsville in May for CT etc. Both are 1.5 hrs from where I am – 375 Peaceful Lane in Independence, overlooking The New River… I’m still settling in but invite you and Martin for a visit when the bedrooms are filled with furniture (I sold everyting at Going Twice – love that place!). New start, new view! The house I bought can still be seen on Zillow.com and was once used by a therapist as a retreat for people with stress issues. My stress at the moment is invading flying squirrels under the upstairs bath (released 3 the past week). They are a protected species and cute as heck. Was told by Wildlife I need to build them a squirrel house outside instead of relocating them, heck no, they are invading my home and need to build their own place across the New River.
Love & Prayers,
wow, the car is cool..
congrats.. you did a good job!
god bless you..