In the spring of 1978, at the young age 22, Sherie graduated from the University of Oregon and the following fall accepted a teaching position with the Gladstone School District. She taught at Kraxberger Middle School for 30 years until her retirement in 2008. As a sixth grade teacher, she was one of the lucky few to take a weeklong trip to Rockaway Beach each year with the sixth grade class for Outdoor School. There, she was known as Cinnamon Teal. In her last ten years of teaching, she took on the challenge of creating and overseeing the Gladstone Community School’s Summer Recreation program. Through all her teaching and mentoring endeavors, it’s estimated that Mrs. Hildreth personally helped to sculpt an astounding 6,000 young and malleable minds.
In early October of 2004, Sherie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Being the productive person she was, she couldn’t sit still and let cancer happen to her. As she would say, “I have cancer, cancer doesn’t have me.” What Sherie did in the next five years of her life would prove her not only to be a catalyst for change in the cancer community but a teacher in life, as well as the classroom. Prompted by the effects of chemotherapy, Sherie partnered with a dear friend to create the hat business, Hats of Empowerment. When hats began selling, the ladies wanted to put the profits to good use. After conducting some research, Sherie found that no organizations existed in the state of Oregon to fund research for ovarian cancer. She also found that Oregon’s nationally renowned Oregon Health & Science University’s (OHSU) Knight Cancer Institute was home to a highly progressive gynecologic cancer laboratory. Bingo!
With the help of friends and family, Sherie started the Sherie Hildreth Ovarian Cancer Foundation (SHOC) in 2005. SHOC has hosted several fundraising events over the past five years; the most prominent and successful being its Empowerment Day Run & Walk. To date, the SHOC Foundation has donated $225,000 to the gynecologic lab at OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute.
Sherie’s determination and dedication to raise awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research brought a success and fulfillment to her life that most people never get the chance to experience. She brought hope and inspiration to thousands of people who were touched by her positivity and will to make a difference, both in and outside the realm of cancer. The legacy Sherie left behind is remarkable. She will be missed terribly amongst family and friends, but never forgotten. Once a spark of energy, now an eternal beam. A memorial service was held December 29 at Congregation Beth Israel. If you would like to show your support for the family at this difficult time, they ask that you do so by contributing a donation to the SHOC Foundation in Sherie's memory.