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July 31, 2008 | bpfna
Sherman, 80, sought treatment options at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston after receiving the diagnosis July 25 and exploring possibilities in Richmond, VA, said Tim Norman, a family friend and fellow Virginia pastor.
Acute myeloid leukemia progresses rapidly and is typically fatal within weeks or months if left untreated. It is a potentially curable disease, but only a minority of patients are cured with current therapies.
Sherman's daughter, Eugenia Brown of Madison, WI, accompanied him to the well-known cancer center in Houston, where he has been accepted into a clinical-trial program, according to sources close to the family. The 21-to-30-day trial, customized for older adults, requires Sherman to remain in a protected environment. He is expected to return to Richmond in mid- to late August.
Sherman, one of the most prominent figures in moderate Baptist life over the last half-century, served as the first national coordinator - or CEO - of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, giving shape to the moderate organization, founded in 1991.
He is renowned for going toe-to-toe with fundamentalist hero Adrian Rogers during theological debates when both served on the Southern Baptist Convention Peace Committee in the mid-1980s.
Sherman's wife, Dot, remains at a nursing facility in Richmond, suffering with Alzheimer's disease. Her condition worsened last week and she is now essentially unresponsive, friends said.
Sherman currently is pastor of Westover Baptist Church in Richmond.
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship invited all to sign a letter of care that was to be delivered to Dr. Sherman the week of August 4, 2008. See the CBF website for more information on Cecil Sherman.