Truex family celebrates through adversity


Some general holiday/sports observations after spending much of Christmas Day helping my husband assemble our nephew’s Lego superhero car comprised of more than 150 pieces:

I think we’ll probably consider a football or basketball next year.

Grateful for those who work on the holiday so that the rest of us can enjoy the time with family and friends: first responders, convenience store clerks, snow plow operators, journalists, and yes, professional athletes and all of the support staff who make it possible to watch sports, including NFL and college football throughout the holidays. It’s not the best scenario to be away from family this time of year, but at the same time, there’s something fun about going through these special days with your team, whether it’s a news crew or your athletic brothers and sisters. Shared experiences and challenges build camaraderie at work and at play.

NASCAR teams must particularly enjoy Christmastime, AKA their off season, after competing through so many holiday weekends throughout the year.

This was another huge year of change for stock car racing, from more rules modifications to high-profile drivers bidding farewell to full-time racing. Most notably, 15-time most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Junior will move from the track to the broadcast booth. But others are also stepping away from the sport, including former champion and longtime Earnhardt rival and friend Matt Kenseth, two-time Cup runner-up Carl Edwards, and Danica Patrick, who announced she still hopes to race at Daytona and Indianapolis next year.

Reigning Cup Champion Martin Truex Jr.K won over new fans as he captured his first series title, while also supporting his long-time girlfriend, Sherry Pollex, as she continues to battle ovarian cancer. It’s a stark reminder that cancer does not discriminate, but also an inspiring story of courage and compassion.

While still undergoing treatment, Pollex, along with Truex Jr, use their high-profile platform to give back to others facing a cancer diagnosis. Pollex shares her story and her support on her website,

In an introductory blog post, Pollex shared the perspective she’s gained through her cancer experience, saying, “…most importantly, the gift of cancer taught me to choose joy. Every day I wake up, I choose joy in my life. I celebrate the small blessings. Our attitude is a huge part of who we are and how we live our lives every day.”

She and Truex Jr also planevents like her second annual Spin Along, a North Carolina and virtual (bicycle) spinning event to raise funds and awareness in the fight against ovarian cancer.

Celebrating NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Championship and then returning to their cancer fight in a way that helps others emphasizes the Truex Jr/Pollex mantra, “Never Give Up,” an important message in sports and in life.

Wishing you peace and good will this holiday season and a happy and healthy new year.

Kellie Goodman Shaffer can be reached at Her column appears on Tuesdays.