The Kay Yow Cancer Fund has had the honor to work with Sharon over the past few years, and we’d like to share her story with you. This year, Sharon was the guest speaker at the annual Golf Classic and touched many lives in the process. This is Sharon’s story.
Sharon Delaney McCloud is an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, keynote speaker, emcee, host and cancer survivor. She’s married with three kids and during her free time, you’ll find Sharon planning their next family vacation. Sharon is very active in the community and serves on a number of Boards of Directors and advisory committees for non-profit organizations in North Carolina.
Sharon earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication from Florida State University before embarking on a career as a television journalist. From the Persian Gulf War to John Glenn’s historic return to space to the Super Bowl to hurricanes, floods, politics and entertainment, she has covered thousands of stories that have affected people’s lives on a daily basis. Sharon also moderated gubernatorial and mayoral debates throughout North Carolina and served as a mentor for young journalists beginning their careers.
Sharon’s journey with cancer started at the young age of 14, when her father was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer, who only lived 3 months after the diagnosis.
A battle that Sharon never saw coming, was with her daughter, Macy. Macy was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) at six months old. AML progresses rapidly, with an intense treatment plan. Macy was undergoing ten days of 12-hour chemo infusions, on a nine-month plan, which is a gruesome treatment plan for a child to endure.
In 2005, after four months of treatment, Macy succumbed to cancer at ten months old.
Twelve years later, Sharon was diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer. Throughout her battle, she thought of Macy. If her resilient and tough little girl could sit through the unending hours of treatment, she could do this. It was not an easy battle, but Sharon likes to remind other fighters to take it day by day, hour by hour. It’s also important to lean on your tribe, whether that’s close friends, family or both. You are not alone.
Sharon underwent five months of chemo, followed by a double mastectomy, then ended her treatment with seven weeks of radiation. In 2017, Sharon was a candidate for the Penelope-B Trial with Pfizer. This trial lasted thirteen months with an oral dose of medicine every three weeks, concluding her cancer battle in 2018.
Macy is Sharon’s why. She continues to tell Macy’s story to honor her fight and memory. Throughout all of her treatments, Macy did it with a smile on her face.
In 2021, Sharon saw a need to help in the healthcare industry and wanted to serve those who needed it most. Sharon now serves as the Director of Corporate Communications at UNC Health. In her role at UNC Health, she is training and coaching leaders across the organization to be more effective communicators whether it be for a conference, board meeting or public speaking.
Sharon also serves as a speaker, trainer, emcee, journalist and DEI executive. In a recent podcast, Sharon spoke to her Irish heritage, “We’re born talkers, it’s in our DNA.” Thank you, Sharon, for living and breathing your calling by helping people amplify their impact, resilience and leadership. Listen to the full episode from the Kickin’ it Forward podcast here. Follow along with Sharon’s journey and impact across the globe here.