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Meet Ms. July 2018: Betty Clayton

Ms. July 2018: Betty Clayton“Take on each day with joy and be resolute…be kind to yourself and look forward, not back.”

Betty Clayton lives in Merrillville, Indiana and is described by many as a “hard working, dedicated and caring person in her cause and mission.” Two of her greatest passions are music and animal welfare.

After graduating from DePaul University with degrees in Music and Education, Betty applied her talents as a music teacher, choir director and studio musician. She also developed an interest in electronic music and synthesizers and has been in a variety of rock bands!

Betty has always had a love for animals. Several years ago, she took over the Humane Society in Miller Beach, Indiana and restored it to a viable, well-run and humane organization that helped hundreds of animals. She retired from being their Executive Director but still serves on the Board of Directors.

As a former Lake County Deputy Sheriff, Betty headed up the Animal Protective Services Unit which focused on abused animals.

In her own words, Betty has “come to realize…that there is so much to live for – it’s all in your attitude.” Her advice to other regarding breast cancer is to “Laugh…a lot, and to fight, fight, fight!”

Betty Clayton is a 6 year breast cancer survivor proudly nominated by her friend Rosemary Shanda.

Meet Ms. June 2018: Lisa Damico

Ms. June 2018: Lisa Damico“You are stronger than you think and can overcome this.”

Lisa Damico was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago and now lives in Highland, Indiana with her German Shepherd “Toots” and two cats, “Emily” and “Mooch.”

Everyone has a unique cancer journey and Lisa’s began when she received a phone call while walking through K-Mart, informing her of her breast cancer diagnosis.

Lisa has an MBA degree and has assisted non-profit organizations in attaining their goals through financial management. She is affiliated with the Humane Society of the Calumet Area, which she supports through donations and the volunteering of her time.

In her own words, Lisa feels that her diagnosis has “made her stronger” and this new-found strength enabled her to open a stained glass business in Dyer, Indiana.
One of the students at her studio states that Lisa “is successful because she genuinely cares about her students and her customers. She inspires me every time I attend class…not because she complained (ever) but because she celebrated her successes with all of us. The students are very diverse, but Lisa brings us together.”

Lisa is active in her community, is a committed advocate for women in business and promotes local businesses through networking activities.

Lisa Damico is a 6 year breast cancer survivor proudly nominated by her friend Lynn Slegel.

Meet Ms. May 2018: Rosanne Loughmiller

Ms. May 2018: Rosanne Loughmiller“Life is short…..early detection equals survival! Be aware of your body and be proactive in your healthcare.”

Rosanne Loughmiller, “Just Ro”, and her husband Michael reside in Highland, Indiana. Married for 42 years, they are the parents of one son, Tony, and grandparents of four grandchildren, Marie, Aaron, Mariel and Roselyn-Ann.

Time seemed to stand still the day Rosanne learned of her diagnosis and now her time is marked by survivorship years. Having received the news just before Christmas, she chose to “protect” her family until after the holidays. Her friends saw this as an example of the love, strength and character that she would continue to display throughout her journey. During her treatment, she could often be seen sporting her now infamous “pink wig” and handing out beautifully hand-crafted pink ribbon earrings, pins and charms to those she encountered at her treatment centers and medical offices.

While working in the healthcare industry for many year, and now currently the Director of Business Development at Hartsfield Village in Munster, Indiana, “Just Ro” has remained a positive influence in the community. She is affiliated with Friends of Hospice, the Salvation Army, Phil’s Friends, Rotary, various American Cancer Society walks, Unite & Fight cancer walks and the American Heart Association. Anyone who has encountered her experiences her passion, dedication, hard work and dynamic personality.

Rosanne feels blessed to have what she calls “The Big Three” in her life – Faith, Family & Friends – and she says that they “are what gets me through this journey we call life!”

Rosanne Loughmiller is a 5 year breast cancer survivor proudly nominated by her friend Diane Stooksbury.

Meet Ms. April 2018: Linda Rodenbarger

Ms. April 2018: Linda Rodenbarger

“Find something to be thankful for every day.”

Linda and her husband of 35 years, Dr. Jerry, live in Valparaiso, Indiana. They have three children, Sarah, Dr. Andrew and Dr. Zach and are expecting their first grandchild in December, 2017.

As a dedicated teacher of 44 years in the Portage Township School system, Linda provides her students with the ability to face things that occur in life and to find meaning and blessings in whatever life’s path holds for them. In 2012, during her battle with cancer, Linda was named the “Teacher of Excellence” and strived to show others that “life does go on” after diagnosis. Cancer did not hold Linda back in life, but pushed her to proceed and make every day important in her life and the lives of others.

Linda is as active community volunteer affiliated with the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, United Way, Valparaiso Park Department and the Don Quijote Scholarship committee. She has also been seen on the dance floor for a local charity event version of “Dancing with the Stars” and has participated in fashion shows, choirs, softball and volleyball teams. There is no end to her energy level or spirit of giving!

Her advice to others is to “Stay positive, realize that this too shall pass, continue doing what you’ve always done and always see the cup as half full!”

Linda Rodenbarger is a 5 year breast cancer survivor proudly nominated by her friend, Jill Hunt.

Meet Ms. March 2018: Karen Beezhold

Ms. March 2018: Karen Beezhold“It’s hard to imagine going through this without faith, family and friends.”

Karen Beezhold and her husband Rudy reside in Hobart, Indiana. They have been married for 38 years and have two children, Nicole and Christian and two grandchildren, Kaitlyn and Henry.

Through her work as the Administrative Manager for the First Christian Reformed Church, Karen comes into contact with many families who are “touched by this disease” and is grateful for the opportunity to comfort and console others. Throughout her treatment, she never missed a day of work and faced her diagnosis with fear, grace and strength. People often tell her that she has been an inspiration to them, but Karen feels it is just the opposite, saying that “people inspired me through their prayers and love.”

Karen and two of her sisters have all been diagnosed with breast cancer in various stages. They are all survivors and serve as inspiration for each other. Karen’s advice to others regarding breast cancer is that “you can have peace in your journey through faith” and she feels “sometimes God gives us these challenges in life so we can have a heart for others who are challenged with the same.” She is “hoping to continue working through it all and to fight like a girl!”

Her motto now is “Every day is Christmas!”

Karen Beezhold is a 3 year breast cancer survivor proudly nominated by her sister, Patricia DeBoer.