Beating cancer -- by starting a charity for others

6:11 PM, Jan 3, 2013   |    comments
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When a Jackson County woman faced a life-threatening disease, her reaction was simple: start a charity.

In January 2011, Jeff and Sherry Grant planted the seeds on iServe Ministries to provide food for local children in need, but their plan was nearly derailed by a more personal emergency.

"It was April 15th, Tax Day, of 2011," recalls Sherry. "I found out I had Stage 2B breast cancer."

At the age of 35, Sherry was staring at four months of chemotherapy.

"I was frustrated, and I was upset," says husband Jeff, "because I felt like, 'We're doing all this [good], and this is what happens.' For me, a small bit said, 'Let's step back.'"

Sherry refused to step back. She handled treatment and continued to lay the groundwork for a non-profit to help total strangers.

What was it like?

"Exhausting," she says.

"I finished radiation three days before Christmas in 2011, and we delivered our first bag when the kids went back to school."

These days, the Grants are a two-person machine. Every week they get a list of children in need at a given Jackson County school, and for each child, they fill a bag with a weekend's worth of food for his or her entire family.

"If they tell us they're gonna need 100 bags tomorrow, we're going to find a way to get 100 bags tomorrow," says Jeff.

They never see the kids they serve -- only the occasional thank-you note. But the Grants know their good deeds are spreading and helping, which makes them emboldened to do even more.

As for Sherry's personal perseverance? "Words just don't describe it," Jeff says. "She's phenomenal."

*****

For more on iServe Ministries, check out their web site.

And for more stories by Matt Pearl, you can like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

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