The "perks" of winning a NASCAR Cup title include additional appearances and media obligations. Many drivers don't see it as a perk, but for Martin Truex Jr. and longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex, it has allowed them to reach an entirely new audience for their story and their cause.
Theirs is a story well-known to NASCAR fans but one that they hope to get out to those who don't follow the sport.
Pollex has battled ovarian cancer since August 2014, suffering a recurrence in May. She underwent surgery in July and had monthly chemotherapy treatments as Truex plowed his way through the NASCAR Cup playoffs on his way to an incredible eight-win season and championship.
During some of the appearances since Truex won the championship Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Pollex has joined her partner and Cup champion as part of the interview.
They got to tell their story on "Megyn Kelly Today," and Pollex knows that should help her efforts toward generating funding for research and treatment of ovarian and pediatric cancer.
"It did open up a whole 'nother demographic for women that don't know anything about my story and don't know a lot about ovarian cancer and the work that we do with pediatric cancer, so it was really cool for us to be able to do that," Pollex said.
Pollex had to postpone a chemotherapy treatment by a week just so she could attend the NASCAR Cup awards ceremony Nov. 30 in Las Vegas. She has one more treatment (each lasts six hours) and then will decide on the next step in trying to prevent another recurrence.
"The travel is definitely hard," Pollex said about going to the last two races, New York on the media tour and then Las Vegas in a four-week stretch. "The fatigue is real."
Pollex's fight against cancer started well before her diagnosis. She created a fashion show in Charlotte where children battling cancer would walk the runway. In its eight years, the show has grown to be one of the main events for the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation, and it now includes drivers not only walking with the patients, but the drivers often spending an afternoon or two with the kids so they are comfortable during the show. It raised more than $550,000 dollars in May.
"We've always been the type of people that wanted to give back to others and make sure that children that were battling this disease were taken care of," Pollex said. "Then eventually women battling ovarian cancer, too, because of what I've been through.
"The work that we've done through our foundation has been amazing. Without NASCAR and this platform, I don't think we'd be able to do any of that."