PORTLAND -- Father's day can be a tough time for those who've lost their dads.

One Portland woman is finding inspiration in her grief by joining a major medical study trying to take on the disease that took her dad.

He was a very loving and caring man, Sherri Jones said. He used to sing like Buddy Holly--all of his songs.

Six months after his 58th birthday, Sherri's dad lost a long battle with colon cancer.

His first goal was to live to 2000 for my youngest brothers graduation and that came and went, Jones said. His second goal was to live for my wedding...I knew he was there and I placed a single red rose on the chair he would have been sitting in, so that gave me comfort.

This Father's Day, she'll find comfort knowing she's part of research aimed at keeping other daughters from knowing her pain.

Cancer, to me, it affects so many people that it's like the common cold and I want to get rid of the common cold. I want to get rid of the cancer, she said.

Sherri is volunteering for a 30-year study by the American Cancer Society.

From my understanding, they actually look at people who do develop cancer and try and find links between the group of people that do develop cancer so it's really an investment in the future, she said.

Two previous studies of this magnitude identified smoking as a cause of cancer and obesity as a cause of cancer. What connection will come from this third study won't be known for decades.

Sherri hopes what she was inspired to do for her dad might save her son.

Say a little prayer to him and that I know he's watching my son, she said.

Sherri is one of 200 volunteers to sign up at Portland's Adventist Medical Center to be part of the research and many like her are honoring those they lost loved ones.

I think this is a real genuine way for people to make a difference in the future, she said.

The American Cancer Society will follow Sherri and the other volunteers with blood tests and written surveys for thirty years.

Sherri has extra inspiration. Her mom right now is battling cancer.

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