Sherry Pollex, philanthropist and longtime girlfriend of NASCAR champion, dies at 44

Pollex passed away Sunday after a nine-year battle with cancer.
Sherry Pollex, who endured a long battle with cancer, passed away on Sunday at age 44.
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 11:34 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Sherry Pollex, a Charlotte philanthropist and longtime girlfriend of NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr., died on Sunday after a nine-year battle with ovarian cancer.

Pollex, who was 44 years old, was first diagnosed in 2014. Prior to her diagnosis, she and Truex worked to serve and raise money for those affected by childhood cancer.

In 2007, Pollex and Truex launched a foundation in his name, focused on helping children and their families affected by cancer. She also played an instrumental role in founding the “Catwalk for a Cause” charity event, which started in 2010. The fashion gala has since raised more than $4 million to fund initiatives to combat the disease.

Then, in 2020, Pollex and her foundation partnered with Novant Health in Charlotte to open the Sherry Strong Integrative Medicine Oncology Clinic.

At the 2023 Catwalk for a Cause, which happened just last week, the event’s co-hosts acknowledged her as “an absolute hero” as the crowd gave her a standing ovation. She was unable to attend.

Sherry Pollex opens up about cancer battle

“From the very minute of her diagnosis, Sherry was determined to not only fight ovarian cancer with everything she had, but also make a difference in the lives of others battling this terrible disease,” Truex said in a statement. “Through her tireless charity work for so many years, her legacy will live well beyond our lifetimes and continue to help countless families.”

Pollex finished chemotherapy two years after her initial diagnosis in 2016, but received news in September 2021 that cancer had returned and had spread to her lungs.

“NASCAR is saddened to learn of the passing of Sherry Pollex, whose fight against cancer and determination to help others through the Sherry Strong Foundation was an inspiration to all who knew her,” NASCAR said in a statement. “NASCAR and the NASCAR Foundation’s thoughts and prayers are with Sherry’s family and friends.”

Pollex was around racing from a young age, as her father raced late models in Michigan before branching into team ownership in NASCAR’s national ranks.

After graduating college, she joined a marketing firm with accounts in NASCAR, and was introduced to Truex in the mid-2000s. The pair was together for 18 years before splitting up earlier this year.

Related: Exclusive: How Sherry Pollex is helping cancer patients fight in the Charlotte area

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