Woodstock resident Cherry Klein is no stranger to Cherokee County’s fitness community. The 51-year-old has spent the past 15 years serving our community as a Zumba and AquaFit instructor at LA Fitness and Onelife Fitness. She also works as a line cook for Sunset Grille and over the years has worked for MadLife, Marlow’s Tavern, Prime 120 and Tavern at Towne Lake.
Cherry’s friend Venus describes her as “a tiny little fireball of positive energy. She always has at least two jobs that she’s running to.”
In May, Cherry was gaining weight. “Cherry normally weighs 105 pounds soaking wet, and before our eyes, she had gained about 35 pounds within two weeks,” Venus said. Cherry also experienced abdominal pain and difficulty urinating, which caused her to retain water and rapidly gain weight. After several doctor appointments, she was diagnosed with cancer in her bile duct and a golf ball-sized tumor in her liver. Bile duct cancer, also called cholangiocarcinoma, is cancer that starts in the bile ducts, which are tubes that connect the liver and gallbladder to the small intestine. Cancer that forms in the bile ducts inside the liver is called intrahepatic bile duct cancer. Bile duct cancer typically is discovered in the later stages, as it takes time for the symptoms to present themselves. Cherry was diagnosed with Stage 2.
During surgery on June 1, a third of her bile duct and half of her liver were removed. A follow-up surgery was necessary to remove more cancerous polyps. Cherry needs another surgery to remove cancerous polyps in her pancreas, but she has to wait until her body has had time to heal. Chemotherapy finally began last month.
Cherry is married, with three children; two are grown, and her 16-year-old is still at home. Her husband is on medical disability, which makes her income critical for her family. “I have always worked two-three jobs to help provide for our family. I love my jobs and the people I work with and for,” Cherry said.
After her diagnosis, Cherry’s insurance policy termed out, causing delays in her treatments. Thankfully, she now is covered by a new but expensive policy.
Her Zumba students set up a GoFundMe account, so others can help her get through this difficult time. “The amount of support she has garnered from the community is proof of the lives she touches every day. Cherry would never ask for help from anyone. She is strong and self-sufficient, but this is bigger than her. She would unquestionably do anything for us, and we now have the opportunity to show her how much she means to each of us. She has always been an inspiration to her students and is even more so now. Her positive attitude and energy shines, even though we know she doesn’t feel well,” Venus said.
Cherry believes God has given her this second chance “so that I can be a positive example to others, and I fully intend to win this. I am eternally grateful to my dear friends, students and strangers who have helped me so far. I still have a lot ahead of me, and I cannot tell you how much relief your generosity has provided us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”
If you would like to help the Kleins, you can donate through GoFundMe at https://gofund.me/6676696d or through Everyday Angels, where 100% of donations go directly to the family.
– Everyday Angels is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving Cherokee County since 2000. To make a tax deductible donation, visit www.everydayangels.info to donate via Paypal, or send your donations to: Everyday Angels, PMB 380, 1025 Rose Creek Drive, Suite 620, Woodstock, GA 30189. One hundred percent of your funds will go to the family you specify. If you know of a special need in our community, email firstname.lastname@example.org.