About Ali

Ali Nunery is a 31-year-old Cincinnati westsider who, in March 2011, was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer called Sarcomatoid Carcinoma. She had a tumor and the bottom third of her right lung removed at that time and started weekly chemotherapy treatments. The inoperable tumors have returned and chemotherapy is no longer an option. She is awaiting news of acceptance into a clinical drug trial in Columbus, OH.

She and her husband, Ben, have been married for two years in May. Their beautiful daughter, Olivia, will celebrate her first birthday in early September.

After college, Ali donated two years to AmeriCorps and worked on her Masters degree. As a school librarian, Ali has spent her time working with kids of all ages. While always donating her spare time to out-reach work in the past, Ali has guided these students as their service club leader. She has cleaned up after Hurricane Katrina, worked at Our Daily Bread over the years, helped care for babies in orphanages in the third world side of Jamaica and helped assemble a library in Mamelodi, Africa.

Ali has tirelessly volunteered to improve the lives of others. Please join in the support to help the Nunerys with their overwhelming medical expenses … and show your love and support to Ali.


updated 11.20.11

ali went to spend her eternal life in heaven on 11.3.11. she fought as hard as she could, but God decided to take her home. please continue to pray for ben, olivia, the tracy family and all the others who loved ali, as they learn to live their lives with her beautiful spirit, instead of her physical being. thanks for everyone for all the support since march 2011. we love you all.

25 thoughts on “About Ali

  1. I saw this story about Ali on cincinnati.com today….kind of weird because I don’t usually go on to this website. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult and sad time. I think that caring on her legacy is awesome, what and great tribute to someone who touched so many lives.
    My sister was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in July of 2010, almost eight years to the day that my mom died from the same cancer. My sister has never smoked, she is 58 years old. She has gone through several different types of chemo therapy treatments. She will begin the last type of chemo therapy offered for lung cancer on Monday. My sister is an amazing! Her attitude and outlook on life is so positive!! My other sisters and I have started an advocacy group for lung cancer……we are known as the Hope Warrior Sisters. We have a page on facebook , Shine a Light on Lung Cancer- Cincinnati Vigil…we work with Lung Cancer Alliance to help raise awareness about the deadliest of all the cancers, and the least funded! We do a few fund raisers through out the year and every day we do our part to help raise awareness.
    Thank you for sharing your story about Ali…..it truly helps others.

  2. This story really inspired me as im reading it in the enquirer this morning and watching my 5yrold decorate the christmas tree… Just know my prayers are with u

  3. The story in today’s Enquirer is an inspiration to many who live long lives but accomplish nothing. Ali lived a short 31 years but seems to have touched many. My wife is battling breast cancer, diagnosed last year, and is having further complications. My prayers are with your family at this trying time.

  4. Good morning..I just read your article in paper and went right to your website…you have done an awesome job in honoring your sister…I lost my husband on 11/11/11….In a lot of ways Ali reminds me of my Peewee..he was only 48 and left behind me and 3 great kids.LIVESTRONG

  5. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! I knew Ali for a short time while she tutored at the school I work at. This was the first I had heard anything about her situation and I am truly saddened that such a great person has been taken but her legacy will live on forever. Again I wish you and your family the best and hope more people will can carry on her inspiration and motivation of helping others.

  6. I cannot even imagine your pain, but I was moved by the article in the paper. God will give you strenth to get through this, because there will be many people praying daily for strenth for you and your children. The Bible does say that one day you and your loved ones will be reunited. Whether it is in heaven as you believe or on the earth, there will be a resurrection and she will be whole and well again. In the meantime, God will be with you. Please feel the love of those who do not personnaly know you, but can share in your pain as a fellow human beings.

    Love, Barb F.

  7. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. Your sister’s story has inspired me not to take my life, family and friends for granted. I hope you find healing and that you continue to honor your sister in the beautiful way that you have.
    All the best.

  8. I knew Ali when I worked at Purcell Marian. She could and did light up a room. What a beautiful website in tribute to Ali. My prayers are with all of you. Thank you for sharing this touching website with us.

  9. Dear Melanie,
    My thoughts are with you constantly. I remember Ali as my student at Seton. How could I forget that smile? My daughter Lynne and I have been talking about you and your family today as we read the beautiful article in the Enquirer about Ali. Every time I look at Lynne’s gorgeous wedding pictures that you and Adam took last Oct. 23rd, I’ll also remember Ali and her sunny dispostion. How wonderful!! May God’s hand be upon you and your family as you continue forward honoring Ali.

  10. I have read the article in the newspaper today it really touched me my mother have been going back and forth to the hospital the doctors said that she may have breast cancer I really understand how you feel i lost my grandmother to Ovarian cancer and she was on 43. Its sad how the good leave us so early.Your whole entire family will be in my prayers and every chance I get I will wear pink in Ali. Ali I didn’t know you but i see your a very sweet and loving person u may be gone but you will never be forgotten!!!!! Ben Ali may be resting in peace but she lives in the both of you guy beautiful babygirl!!!

  11. I read the article about Ali in Sunday’s paper. What a beautiful person she was! Truly an inspiration to us all!!

    My thoughts and prayers and with all those she left behind.

  12. I lost my brother 2 years ago to cancer. Like Ali, he was an inspiration to all around him. I share your sadness, but I'm sure you cherish the memories of your beautiful Ali and are thankful for the blessing of her existence. on said:

    The story in The Cincinnati Enquirer about Ali inspired me so much that I couldn’t wait to check out this website. What an inspiration that young woman was.

    V. Martini

  13. I receive the Sunday paper each week, merely for coupons; never for reading. Today, the picture of Ali, Ben & Olivia caught my eye, so I read. What an amazing life Ali led; what an example she was for so many; what hope she has given even though she has passed. I also have lung cancer, along with an immune deficiency. But my, unlike Ali, I have been given the opportunity to beat this. Today, as I sat feeling sorry for myself, I read your sister’s story. Shame on me!!! It was just the Lord reminding me that each day is a Gift. That it is NOT about us, but what we can do for others. I know, in a smaller way, what Ali endured. I am amazed by her spirit and generosity, in spite of her diagnosis. May we all be inspired and appreciate life for the gift it is! Olivia was and is blessed with such an amazing example of what our walk is suppose to be on this earth. The angels rejoiced on November 3rd and the Lord welcomed Ali with open arms. I can’t imagine the impact she will have in heaven, given the impact she left here in this life. May we all be inspired to live with such kindness, selflessness, generosity and love. Blessings to your family and many thanks for sharing Ali’s amazing testimony! Thank you for the encouragement and for the REMINDER! It was SO needed this very day. As long as She is being thought about, she will NEVER be gone. Hugs 🙂

  14. To the family of Ali Nunery,

    Thank you so very much for sharing Ali’s touching story. I did not have the privilege of knowing her, but I must confess I wept as I read the article. As a 51 year old man, I’ve witnessed my share of suffering over the years. Cancer has struck my own family, and so I know some of the pain your family had to endure. For me, the words love, faith, and hope have new meaning. We really don’t have much without these. And though your profound loss may seem unbearable, it is these 3 things that will guide you through these days of sorrow.
    My wife makes scrabble tile necklaces and she would like to send a few to your family in honor of Ali. If you would like to have these, just provide an address that she can send them to. There is no fee involved.

    “He healeth the broken hearted, and binds up their wounds.”Psalm 147:3

    God Bless You,


  15. I have never been as moved as I have learning of the life and love of Ali. My nephew was so fortunate to work with Ali and to call her “friend”. When he talked of Ali, his admiration of all she did was so obvious. Mel you took my nephews beautiful wedding photos. We had to get the Alumni Hall cleared out and the “old folks” were trying to get the guests to wind down. Everytime we turned the lights up someone keep dimming them. We later learned that the “someone” was Ali who was having a great time and didn’t want the party to end. Ben and Olivia and you and your entire family are in my thoughts and prayers. I offer the prayer that has helped our family through some very tough times…
    Fear Not

    Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear;
    rather look to them full of hope that, as they arise, God, whose you
    are will deliver you out of them. He has kept you hitherto.

    Do you but hold fast to His dear hard, and He will lead you safely
    through all things; and when you cannot stand, He will bear you
    in his arms.

    Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow; the same
    everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you
    tomorrow, and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering,
    or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it.

    Be at peace and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.

  16. I read of Ali, Ben and Olivia’s story just this morning, as the Today website was doing a story of Ben moving out of their house with their daughter. What a truly beautiful and amazing way to pay tribute to Ali with the photos. I cried all the way through the story and pictures. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. It touched me like you would not believe. My prayers are with all of the family and especially with Ben and Olivia as they make their way through their journey.

  17. What a beautiful story!! Honor does not even begin to cover how Ali’s memory is carried on. My dad has lung issues and everything that goes with that. I do understand the pain and suffering of seeing a loved one like this. My heart goes out to your family!

  18. Just read the tribute to your beautiful wife Ali on the Today website. The pictures are just beautiful!! What a special memory for your daughter to have and hold onto forever! She will certainly cherish those images forever. Hoping the holidays bring you much joy and above all peace…. Praying for you and your family!

  19. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story. I found your page through the Today.com article. You are all an inspiration for for to live with the spirit of a loved one. Wishing you all the best as you continue to nurture Olivia.

  20. I saw the beautiful pictures of you and your daughter, and it’s such a lovely way to honor your wife’s memory and to give your daughter a wonderful gift. Best of luck to you in the future!

  21. Your story is to touching. I happen to be home today from work watching the Today show and saw your story. I googled your blog and read it. I lost my best friend this year to Melanoma. She died 7 months after her diagnosis. She left behind a husband, two sons (12 & 10), and a daughter (7). There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of her. Thank you for sharing your story and memories of Ali. I know she will always live on in that beautiful little girl, Olivia.

  22. Dear Ben,

    My name is Robin Thieme, I am with RTL Television. One of Europe’s largest television networks. The photographs you have recreated have touched hearts on an international level. We would very much like to meet you and hereby request an interview with you. We would very much like to produce a segment for our European viewers. Please let me know, if you ‘would be open to that and what the best way to reach you is?

    Our thoughts and my kindest wishes to you and Olivia!


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