Cathy Carey was a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, loving teacher, and formidable cancer warrior. Her husband, Cliff said, “she had a gentle spirit; she loved everybody, and she never saw the bad in anybody.”
Cathy loved to sew, monogram, teach, spend time with her family, and adored her grandchildren. She enjoyed Friendship Christian School sports — especially Friday night football. She loved to travel, and one of her favorite trips was to Alaska where she saw bears on the banks.
Because Cathy was only in her second year of teaching at Friendship Christian School when she had Kimberly as one of her students, Kimberly admitted, “I had to call her Mrs. Carey once class started!” Cliff Jr. said that was short-lived. “By the time I came along,” he laughed, “she was just ‘Mom’ to me. That rule had been relaxed!”
Cliff was proud that “students and parents and everyone all speak highly of her. She showed love to all.”
Cathy was first advised she might have cancer in September of 2018. In the ensuing year, tumors were found on her lungs and lymph nodes. At that time, doctors gave her six months to live if she chose not to undergo treatments; she chose the treatments and stretched her remaining lifespan to 13 months. Eventually, tumors spread to her spine and the cancer was no longer responding to any treatment.
Cathy was involved with the Sherry’s Hope organization from the first Sherry’s Run 5K Run/Walk event. She started off handing out water to the runners, and then she found a job she loved: working in the silent auction. Kimberly explained that these workers had to be tireless: “They had to be there at 5:30 in the morning, and they were the last to leave at the end of the day.”
Because of Cathy’s great faith, Cliff maintains that “she stayed positive right up to the end.” She seemed determined to make it through Christmas of 2020 and share some final good memories with her family. The following day, she started going downhill and had to be helped into the car. The family called in hospice the next day, and Kimberly admits that this was a tough decision because “Mama was an independent woman.”
The 18th annual Sherry’s Run 5K Run/Walk to benefit Sherry’s Hope will be held in memory of Cathy Carey. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 11 at 8 am. Register or join a team at www.sherrysrun.org.
Sherry’s Hope is a non-profit organization that works throughout the year to provide hope to families battling cancer in Wilson County and surrounding communities by offering emotional encouragement and financial assistance. To learn more about Sherry’s Hope, call (615) 925-2592 or go to www.sherryshope.org. To donate to Sherry’s Hope go to www.sherryshope.org or mail donations to Sherry’s Hope, P.O. Box 8, Lebanon, TN 37088-0008.