Meet Ms. December 2018: Shirley Wade

Ms. December 2018: Shirley Wade“Share your story with others – doing this may help someone else.”

Shirley Wade and her husband of 42 years, Robert, reside in Munster, Indiana. They have two daughters, Robyn and Amy and four grandchildren, AJ, Jillian, Nick and Leah.

At the time of her diagnosis, Shirley worked at McShane’s as a Sales Administrator. Her co-worker stated that “she always came to work with a smile on her face, ready to tackle any assigned task.” She is currently employed at the Ingalls Family Care Center in Calumet City, Illinois and is also affiliated with the Humane Society of the Calumet Area.

Receiving her diagnosis at a young age of 38, Shirley was determined to “be here” for her family. Having to care for the family and raise two young children gave her the inspiration and determination to be strong.

Shirley continually felt the support of her husband, children and friends and states “They were with me every step of the way – I love them all!”

Shirley Wade is a 25 year breast cancer survivor proudly nominated by her friend Mindy Erickson.

Meet Ms. November 2018: Mary Jo Keithley

Ms. November 2018: Mary Jo Keithley“Do not give up – hold on.”

Mary Jo Keithley and her husband John live in a beautiful farmhouse in Lowell, Indiana. She has one daughter, Cheryl and two grandchildren, Lauren and Amanda.

During her working years, Mary Jo was a bookkeeper for Huntington Labs.

Mary Jo is a member of First Methodist Church, and a 70 year member of Eastern Star, having also been a past Worthy Matron.

Described as a real “go-getter”, she still drives and although we won’t divulge her actual age, she continues to care for her 98 year old husband and is going strong! She considers “being able to go on with and enjoy my life” as her greatest accomplishment since her diagnosis.

Her advice to others is to “Hold on – Life gets better!”

Mary Jo Keithley is a 24 year breast cancer survivor proudly nominated by her friend Lisa Manes.

Meet Ms. October 2018: Freda Riddle

Ms. October 2018: Freda Riddle“The compassion, concern and interest shown by family and friends should be paid forward.”

Freda Riddle resides in Hobart, Indiana where she was born and raised. She attended Taylor University and earned a degree in education. After teaching locally for several years, Freda joined a mission organization and decided to teach in Africa. With the exception of an occasional home visit, she spent the next 20 years in Africa, being both a teacher and dorm mother in Ethiopia and an upper grade teacher in Nigeria.

Several years after returning home, Freda received her diagnosis and then plotted the course she would undertake. She was determined to keep her eyes on God and maintain a positive mental attitude. Her confidence in God and her surgeon carried through her cancer journey.

Freda is an active member of Liberty Bible Church in Chesterton, Indiana and is involved with the Hobart Community Foundation and the Maria Reiner Center.

In the words of her friends, “She is a person who is compassionate and always ready to help others. She has a terrific sense of humor and is a person of deep faith.” In her own words, she advises people to “have a good attitude, laugh and let God make the decisions.”

Freda Riddle is an 18 year breast cancer survivor proudly co-nominated by her friends Mary Jo Hopkins and Marjorie Gresser.

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.