Meet Ms. September 2018: Janet Petrites

Ms. September 2018: Janet Petrites“Be aware of the little things that touch you throughout the day and thank God for them.”

Janet Petrites is the sixth of eleven children and lives in Merrillville, Indiana. She has fourteen nieces and nephews and nine great nieces and nephews – all of whom have been a special part of her life.

Janet spent over twenty years working as a pediatric nurse at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago and feels that the children there “showed (me) how to accept suffering and still have a smile for others.”

Caring for others comes naturally to Janet. Upon her retirement, she returned home to care for her mother and then her ailing uncle. She is always ready to care for anyone in need and is currently helping her brother and sister-in-law. Even while undergoing her own treatment, she devoted more time to her siblings and provided support and attention to friends in need.

Janet is active in numerous charitable organizations including St. Matthias Church, SS. Peter and Paul Church and Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine. Her advice to others is to “Trust in God totally and ask …Him to guide you in choosing the best treatment plan… and to help you live one day at a time.”

Janet Petrites is a 17 year breast cancer survivor proudly nominated by her friend Marjorie Simunic.

Meet Ms. August 2018: Robbin Lomas

Ms. August 2018: Robbin Lomas“Without the storms there would be no rainbows. Never give up!”

Robbin Lomas lives in Portage, Indiana and is very proud of her step-daughter Angie and grandchildren, Deanna, Riley and twins Clyde and Camden.

All throughout her cancer journey, Robbin continued to run her own Accounting firm, Robbin Lomas, CPA, P.C. with perseverance and strength. According to her friend, she “never wavered in her determination and she remained hopeful and positive, even through the dark times.” Robbin believes that “your mind is very powerful – you have to believe it to achieve it.”

Robbin is a member of the Board of Directors of Real Life Community Church in Portage, Indiana and is active in Relationships Matter of Northwest Indiana, Inc., a sub-group of her church.

Her greatest accomplishment since her diagnosis has been her spiritual growth, “surviving two types of cancer” and “knowing how blessed I am for every day that I am given.” The prayers she received from everyone strengthened her for her cancer battle.

Robbin continues to enjoy life to the fullest and tries to be an inspiration to others, as well as to live her “best self.”

Robbin Lomas is a 9 year breast cancer survivor proudly co-nominated by Jennifer Johnson and Denise Roll.

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.