Franklin Family Stands Up to Cancer

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

One local family is not only standing up to cancer, but they're also fighting for a cure.

"These were taken in October of 2004, so before he got diagnosed," Destaney Sperry says as she flips through a photo album.

Destaney remembers the good old days spent outdoors, before cancer found its way inside her family's life.

"That's my dad," Destaney says while pointing at a picture.

Just three years ago, Chris Sperry was diagnosed with prostate cancer, something nobody in the family was prepared for.

"He was 48 at the time and never had been sick a day in his life," Chris' Wife, Tamara Sperry said. "I mean as long as I've known him he never even had a cold."

"He used to bench press 300 pounds, he was healthy," Destaney said.

But Chris was determined not to let cancer control his life, and just a few days after announcing the devastating news to family and friends he and his fiance, became man and wife.

"I think it reaffirmed our commitment that for better or worse and regardless of his diagnosis we wanted to be together," Tamara said.

Just three days after saying "I do" Chris had a radical prostatectomy in hopes of ridding his body of the cancer that was consuming it. But the disease had other plans.

"The cancer seemed to continue just to spread, but it was just his will to beat it," Tamara said.

It was by a pond just a few feet from their Franklin house, that Chris told Tamara he had no plans of giving up.

"He didn't think he was going to die and I told him I thought the same thing," Tamara said. "I don't think you are either, this is just a hurdle. It was one of the most incredible things for us."

It's a conversation that Tamara will never forget, just a few days later Chris' bright young life would fade away.

"I think about him everyday and how it was just bizarre that one minute he was there and the next he was gone," Destaney said.

Now his daughter and his wife are fighting for a cure, and spreading awareness, in hopes that others will never have to experience the same loss.

"The first symptom or anything you notice weird, check it," Destaney said.

"I don't know anyone who doesn't know someone touched by cancer and that's why I think we've got to fight and find a cure and not continue to just treat the disease," Tamara said.

The Sperry's add that Chris did notice some symptoms and abnormalities a couple of months before he told anyone, including doctors.

That's why family members encourage everyone to take action the minute they think something has changed.

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and Friday night in a unique hour long presentation CBS, alongside ABC, and NBC will air Stand Up to Cancer, a special television event aimed at raising money for cancer research.

You can watch "Stand Up to Cancer", tonight at 7 p.m. on News Three.

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