Sherri Graves Smith, a former attorney with The Coca-Cola Company, will make her debut this October with the publication of her first two children’s books, “Big Al’s Game Day Rules” and “Aubie’s Game Day Rules.” In her books, Big Al and Aubie take children on a game day adventure of their respective campuses of the University of Alabama and Auburn University teaching children about manners, civility, and good sportsmanship.
Sherri joined The Coca-Cola Company’s Legal Division as an attorney in November 2000. After taking an overseas assignment as Assistant Division Counsel for Coca-Cola Ltd. in Toronto, Canada, Sherri was being considered for a three-year position in Vienna, Austria. Her career came to an abrupt halt after a routine visit to the doctor revealed that Sherri had cancer. In November 2007, at the age of 36, Sherri was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and immediately began an aggressive course of treatments that included chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.
Presently, Sherri is continuing in her battle against cancer which has been diagnosed as a chronic condition. On her current regimen, she infuses every Monday and takes chemotherapy pills twice daily four days a week. Getting better is her full-time job.
Sherri is a lifelong avid reader and always has held a special place in her heart for children. Prior to her illness, Sherri volunteered at homeless shelters and schools tutoring children in reading. In addition to tutoring children, Sherri was an active participant in going to schools in the urban areas of Atlanta and teaching law courses in order to encourage youth to seek careers in the law.
In 2010, Sherri’s manager at The Coca-Cola Company, Angus Haig, asked her whether she would be open to reading to his children at their school as a way of being able to work with children. She began reading to children again, and it motivated her to become an author.
Besides finding herself in the midst of writing children’s books, Sherri has become a philanthropist. During her journey in battling cancer, she has become very aware of how this illness has the potential to have a devastating impact on various aspects of one's life. A primary difficulty is having one’s income decline from not being able to work while balancing the additional expenses that come from undergoing treatment. Costs of co-pays, prescriptions, gas, parking, etc., can add up, and the responsibilities that one has before cancer do not simply go away.
In seeing the financial impact that an illness can have on a person’s life, Sherri has become an advocate for raising funds for the Atlanta Cancer Care Foundation (“ACCF”), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, that uses a major part of its funding toward assisting cancer patients in the Greater Atlanta Metro area who are financially burdened.
Unwittingly in the past five years, Sherri’s life has gone from being a corporate attorney to being an author and philanthropist. Somehow, she finds the energy to do this while taking some form of chemotherapy five days a week.
Sherri is a native of Tuscumbia, Alabama, and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Charles Smith.