Sherry Kohlenberg

Sherry Kohlenberg pictured with husband Larry Goldman and son Sam.

Sharon (Sherry) Helen Kohlenberg was born on January 28, 1956 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She met and fell in love with her future husband Larry Goldman at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. After Graduating in 1979, they relocated to Larry’s hometown of Richmond, Virginia where Sherry began her career in healthcare. Upon earning her Master’s in Health Services Administration in 1986, she was selected to develop and direct the Medical College of Virginia’s Department of Risk Management. Through her role as risk manager, she advocated for patient rights while protecting the physicians and staff of the hospital. In 1988, Sherry and Larry proudly presented their son, Sammy, to the world. Following her diagnosis of breast cancer in 1990, Sherry became an outspoken breast cancer activist. The Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation may never have been founded without Sherry Kohlenberg’s enthusiasm and commitment. She was selected by President Clinton as one of the “Faces of Hope.” Sherry learned within two years of her diagnosis that she would die of breast cancer. In May of 1993, two months before her death, Sherry spoke at the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s rally in Washington. Sherry understood well the power of her own story, a young wife and mother who would soon die at the age of 37. Sherry very much wanted her death to have meaning in the fight against breast cancer. VBCF feels that by presenting this award each year in Sherry’s name, we honor her for the vibrant, competent healthcare worker she was. And the dynamic breast cancer activist she became.