Professor diagnosed with breast cancer seeks specialized treatment

Students, friends and family of Allison Sherman contribute to Giveforward campaign

Dr. Allison Sherman in Venice, where she directs the art history summer school for Queen’s.
Credit: 
Supplied by Jill WeinReich
In the 19 months since her dear friend Allison — known to Queen’s Art History department as Professor Sherman — was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer, Jill Weinreich has rallied the Queen’s community together through a Giveforward platform, to fund Sherman’s fight for her life.
 
Sherman was a Queen’s BAH, Queen’s MA and then an SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellow, who stayed on afterwards as a full-time Adjunct Professor, Director of the Venice Summer School and Chair of the Graduate Program — all in the Department of Art History. 
 
“Being ill is expensive,” Weinreich said.
 
“Adjuncts aren’t paid the same as full-time members of faculty,” Weinreich said. “They’re actually paid far less.” Sherman also doesn’t have access to health insurance through Queen’s, according to Weinreich. 
 
The GiveForward page, which was established when Sherman was diagnosed in 2015, posted a new update 
last week. 
 
“I am opening this fundraiser again to let you know that our brave and strong Allie is facing the most important fight of her life with the recurrence of the tumors in her liver,” Weinreich wrote on Jan. 11. 
 
When all treatment options in Canada had been exhausted by Sherman’s medical team, they consulted with “a variety of experts,” Weinreich wrote, to settle on a hospital in Germany offering new options to fight metastatic 
breast cancer. 
 
Sherman will be spending over six months oversees undergoing treatment. “The entire cost for this treatment must be paid for out of pocket and the cost is staggering,” Weinreich wrote. 
 
In the days following, the post gained traction within the department, with the Art History Department Student Council pledging their support and promising further updates on financial support for Sherman’s treatment. 
 
“The wonderful thing about a fundraiser like this, is that every donation makes a huge difference,” Weinreich told The Journal. “No donation is too small and every penny raised goes to helping Allie cover her 
treatment bills.” 
 
Currently over $45,000 has been raised online, with donations coming in from recognisable names within the Queen’s art community, like Fine Art Undergraduate Chair, Rebecca Anweiler. 
 
According to Weinreich, many of Sherman’s students have also reached out and donated, which she sees as a testament to Sherman’s thoughtful teaching — for which she’s been nominated for both the Frank Knox and Charles Baillie awards for excellence at Queen’s. 
 
“She is the most selfless person I have ever known and one of the kindest, most open-hearted, and most generous human beings to ever walk this planet," Weinreich said. 
 
“She is one of my most cherished treasures, a friend I love deeply and someone whose presence in my life continues to make me a better person each day.” 
 
Although Weinreich is running the fundraiser, she credits every person who has donated, sent a message of support or shared the link to the fundraiser as “just as involved.” 
 
While Sherman continues her treatment in Europe, Weinreich plans to continually update the fundraising page. “If the tables were reversed for anyone in her life, she would be out there doing just what I am doing now.”

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