‘Nurse Sharon’ honored as caregiver

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2011

By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist

Sharon Bentley was recently nominated for the American Cancer Society’s Life Inspiration Award in the category of caregiver.

Bentley has been a nurse for many years for various doctors and in the home health care arena, as well. It was her work as a community caregiver that inspired Columbiana resident Carol Hill to nominate her for the prestigious statewide award.

“Sharon has always been just a phone call away for so many people who have had an emergency,” Hill said. “Sharon is the first person everyone thinks of when a loved one receives bad news concerning their health, or when a parent wonders if they need to take their child to the doctor. Nurse Sharon is always to the rescue.”


Hill explained how valuable Bentley was to hometown hero Scott Armstrong during his five-year battle with cancer. When Armstrong faced a bone marrow transplant, Bentley traveled to Duke University Hospital and stayed weeks at a time with him. Armstrong and his family found great comfort in having her near during such a trying time.

She was there for the family during his life, his battle and his death. It takes a special person to go from the beginning to the end of an illness with someone.

Many others have been recipients of Bentley’s love, care, kindness and medical expertise since she became a part of the Shelby County community more than two decades ago.

You cannot put a price on the comfort that she has provided for so many. Day or night, she has unselfishly given of herself without expecting anything in return. She is the epitome of what a nurse should be. Bentley has also taken 13 mission trips to Honduras to provide health care to the indigent. The quality of life for the people there has been greatly improved as a result of her skills and abilities and the compassion with which she administers both.

Whether it is in Columbiana or thousands of miles away in small villages in Honduras, Bentley has been a blessing to so many — some of whom may not have ever received help otherwise. Truly, Bentley is a community caregiver, a nurse, a friend and an inspiration to many people who know her both at home and abroad.

Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident and writes a weekly column for the Shelby County Reporter. You can reach her at bethchapman@bellsouth.net.