Supporters Sherri Thompson Washington, D.C. Keep Pushin’ On in the Fight Against Cancer Sherri Thompson doesn’t know a single family that has not been touched by cancer. Her mother lost her battle with lymphoma in 2004, and her sister passed away from brain cancer in May 2015. When she learned of the Cancer Research Institute (CRI)—a nonprofit dedicated exclusively to fueling the discovery and development of effective immunotherapies for all types of cancer—Sherri wanted to do something big. That is how “Inspire a Life / Keep Pushin’ On” Benefit Concert was born. The event will take place on July 21, 2015, at The Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C., and will feature Frank McComb, a soul, jazz, blues, and pop musician, and Crystal Aikin, a gospel vocalist. The proceeds, which are expected to reach $5,000, will all go to the Cancer Research Institute. CRI spoke with Sherri about the concert, her history with cancer, and fundraising for a cause. What experience have you had with cancer? Sherri: I really do not know anyone whose family has not been affected in some way by cancer. Frank McComb recently lost a cousin to colon cancer, my nephew and other family members have been diagnosed with lymphoma and prostate cancer, and, unfortunately, both my mother and sister lost their battles to cancer. My mother battled lymphoma for 19 years and passed away in 2004. My sister, Dr. Carla T. Jones (pictured on right), had just completed her PhD when she was diagnosed with an inoperable and malignant brain cancer in 2010. She passed away on May 31, 2015. What resonates with you about the Cancer Research Institute’s mission? Sherri: CRI’s promise of discovering, developing, and delivering safe and effective treatments that make a meaningful difference in patients’ lives is very, very important to me. With immunotherapy treatments, there is a potential to have longer lasting remissions with little to no side effects for any type of cancer patient. It’s a mission that I support wholeheartedly. What are you most looking forward to about the event? Sherri: Being able to showcase the talents of Frank McComb and Crystal Aikin, in an effort to show that this is what I believe we are supposed to do. Both collectively and individually, we should use our various gifts and abilities—whether by volunteering, donating time or funds, or whatever available resources we have—to help those in need around us. This event is about saying thank you to the people in our lives who “inspired us to keep pushin’ on.” I’m also grateful to showcase the sponsors who have gotten behind us in support of the event, like Blue Line Media. You can donate to the benefit at www.bit.ly/InspireALife. Originally published June 18, 2015.