I had the pleasure of meeting Sherry Gervacio a few years ago at Island Nursing Home through our flower donation charity - Share the Aloha. Share the Aloha is Charity we created in which we take left-over wedding flowers and deliver them to Nursing Homes around the island. It has become something that both Erika and I really enjoy doing and something we spend much of our time on over the weekends. We don't make anything from this, and in fact spend way more time (and sometimes quite a bit of money) on these deliveries, but have found it to be worth every minute and penny ... just because it brings such joy to so many.
My first visit with Sherry was a simple visit and Sherry didn't say much just gave me a little smile as I brought her a vase of roses, peonies and hydrangeas. I didn't stay long, but could tell that there was something about Sherry that was different. She was much younger than the other residents there and was obviously dealing with a much different struggle. You could see it in her eyes ... this was a truly remarkable woman, someone so strong, and filled with such love, coping with an illness brought on way to early.
Several visits later I posted a few photos of my latest flower delivery on our Facebook page and got a note from a high school friend saying that it was actually her sister that I was visiting and whom was in the photos I had posted. I had no idea, and could not believe that I had never known that Sherry had gone to the same high school as me and was so connected to Erika and I. I immediately dug a little deeper and learned more.
Sherry's story is so inspiring, I wanted to share it with all of you in hope that she makes you appreciate today just a little bit more :)
Sherry Gervacio's body began to fail when she was just 17 years old. She had a rare form of muscular dystrophy that slowly began to take away her physical abilities one at a time. She was soon unable to walk and her lungs stopped working, forcing her to remain connected to a machine that kept her alive, allowing her to breath every few seconds.
Sherry was home with her mother at first but soon moved into Island Nursing Home where she'd stay for the remaining years of her life. Though she had dreamt of becoming a doctor, she was now on the opposite end, the patient, in the hospital bed. She was unable to finish college and could now just barely use her keyboard to access emails and browse the web.
What could have been an illness that took over her life, instead became a reason to keep fighting. Sherry decided she would write a book. Still able to type with one hand she wrote 33 poems, found an illustrator, and with the help of her mother, got the book printed and published. "Journey of my Heart" includes 33 poems (narrowed down from the 100's written) in which she reflects on her incredible journey on dealing with an illness that has left her locked within helpless body.
I only got to know Sherry for a few brief meetings, but she was someone I will never forget. She had a light in her that you could feel when you entered her room, and a soul that was incredibly strong. How do I know this? ... I don't know, it was something you could just feel when you were around her.
I know this is not my normal type of blog post, but I've been so moved by Sherry's strength over the years and felt it was my duty to share her story with all of you.
Sherry was born on April 24th, 1971 in Rhode Island and passed away just this past week at Island Nursing Home. She was 44 years old.
If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Sherry's book you can email her mother Matea Gervacio at : firstname.lastname@example.org
Donating wedding flowers has been such a blessing, in allowing me to know such special people like Sherry and we thank all of you brides who have donated your wedding flowers. It has really brought such smiles to so many. Our deepest condolences to sister Leslie, mom Matea and everyone else in Sherry's family.
With Love, Nicole
Best Day Ever Hawaii Weddings & Events
PS. To learn more about donating your wedding flowers, check out our website - Share the Aloha.