Despite all she’s been through, Pamela Fauntleroy has maintained a positive outlook on life.
Fauntleroy is a cancer patient who is currently receiving treatment at Cancer Treatment Centers of America Eastern Regional Medical Center in Philadelphia. She is one of more than 60 cancer survivors who participated in CTCA’s Celebrate Life event that was held Friday.
The day-long celebration included a dove release ceremony and a private tree planting where a tree is planted for each five-year survivor who completes treatment at CTCA. A ritual was known as “Hope Rounds” was also held, where the survivors and caregivers receive commemorative lapel pins to pass along as a symbol of hope to patients who are currently undergoing treatment at the hospital.
“It’s an overwhelming thing where you feel as though you have accomplished something. It’s like I did five, I can do another five more,” Fauntleroy says of participating in the commemorative celebration.
“It gives you a sense of hope, a sense of pride. You meet other individuals with different types of cancer and you can educate each other. I feel as though we are there for each other, to encourage each other to get strength from each other. When they have this five-year celebration to celebrate our lives, I think that’s a beautiful thing. You get to see people that you started out with and their progression,” said Fauntleroy, who hails from Swedesboro, N.J.
Fauntleroy was only nine years old when her father passed and 21 years old when her mother died at the age of 46. They both passed from cancer.
When Fauntleroy marked her 47th birthday on May 16, she exhaled because it meant that she was one year older than her mother was when she died.
“At this point, I’m thriving, I’m really happy. You really have to have that inner strength - that faith and you can’t let cancer become you. Most people deteriorate quick because they think of cancer as death but it doesn’t have to be. To me it’s a mindset,” she said.
After Fauntleroy had her second son, she felt that something was amiss when she felt a lump in her left breast. Since she had just given birth six months earlier, her doctor told her not to worry about it- that it was most likely the result of milk deposits. She didn’t push the issue and as time progressed, Fauntleroy realized that the lump was getting bigger.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 at the age of 38.
“My heart just stopped and I was just petrified, being as though my mother and father both passed from cancer,” she said.
Fauntleroy decided to undergo a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation, however the cancer returned before she could complete her reconstructive surgery. She was aggressively treated with chemo for seven months but the therapy did not seem to be working. At the time, she complained to her doctor about feeling like something was wrong. A MRI would later reveal that the cancer had spread to her femur, spine, factum and hip.
Fauntleroy then decided to switch teams and eventually began receiving treatment at CTCA. She has been receiving treatment at the facility for the last five years. She appreciates how the facility caters to her caregivers and having an oncologist who takes the time to answer her questions.
“I think at the Cancer Treatment Center you’re really viewed as a partner and that’s what I like about it. I feel like I’ve become a real empowered patient there and it gives me the strength to want to give other people knowledge. They don’t treat you like you are a number, you are a name there,” she said.
Fauntleroy gives back to CTCA by serving as a mentor and advocate of the hospital through the Patient to Patient Network – a program which connects current patients with those seeking information and opinions about the integrative and personalized treatment plans available at CTCA. She also participates in the center’s Cancer Fighters program – a program which enables her to provide assistance and encouragement to other patients.
As she has undergone treatment throughout the years, Fauntleroy said she was very open with her two sons about the process. Her 11 and 16-year old sons now serve as her caregivers.
“I didn’t want to hide anything from them because that’s what my mother did with me. She kind of shunned that away from us,” said Fauntleroy, who has a background as an inspirational writer.
Fauntleroy’s breast cancer is in remission, however she is still being treated for the cancer that spread to her bones. This week she began another round of 10-day radiation treatment. Despite it all, Fauntleroy has held steadfast to her faith in God.
“I just trust in God and know that he’s going to do what he says. God said ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’ You need faith to go through this,” she said.
OraSure Technologies, Inc., Walgreens and the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation have teamed up with local health organizations to offer free Hepatitis C testing for National Hepatitis Testing Day.
Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease that ranges in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness that attacks the liver. The disease is usually spread when blood from a person infected with the hepatitis C virus enters the body of someone who is not infected.
“Today, approximately four million Americans are infected with hepatitis C and the vast majority does not know it,” Dr. Willis C. Maddrey, president of the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation said in a press release.
“However, new therapies are now available that can effectively treat and in some cases eliminate the virus from the body, making testing for HCV – particularly among baby boomers – a critical step in fighting this epidemic.”
HCV testing will be available in select Walgreens locations across 11 states including Pennsylvania in observance of National Hepatitis Testing Day which was observed May 19.
National Hepatitis Testing Day was established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an opportunity to remind healthcare providers and those individuals at risk that they should be tested for viral hepatitis.
“Hepatitis C is a silent epidemic and these testing events can help make a meaningful impact on prevention, treatment and awareness,” said Glen Pietrandoni, Walgreens senior manager of virology.
“By working collaboratively, we can help educate communities on the risk factors and link people to appropriate care.”
Each participating Walgreens retail pharmacy will offer HCV testing using the OraQuick HCV test which is made by OraSure Technologies.
“Using traditional laboratory testing, individuals typically wait days or weeks before receiving their hepatitis C test results,” said Douglas A. Michels, president and CEO of OraSure Technologies.
“The OraQuick HCV Rapid Test is ideal for use at the point of care – it’s easy, accessible and provides lab-accurate results in 20 minutes – enabling individuals presumed to be infected to be referred immediately for follow-up care.”
Testing will be offered locally on May 21 and May 23 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Walgreens located at 1227 Locust Street and 1101 Locust Street.
The on-site testing, patient education and linkage to follow-up care will be conducted by local health organizations.
The CDC notes that African Americans have a statistically higher rate of chronic hepatitis C infection than other ethnic groups.
People can become infected by hepatitis C by sharing needles, syringes or other equipment to inject drugs; needlestick injuries in healthcare settings and being born to a mother that has hepatitis C. Less commonly, the infection can also be transmitted by sharing personal care items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood, such as razors or toothbrushes or having sexual contact with some infected with the virus.
When the U.S. Small Business Administration Philadelphia District Office honors some of Pennsylvania’s top firms and business advocates, Billy Cromedy will be among them.
Cromedy, president of Advantage Contracting, Inc., a (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) HVAC/sheet metal contractor has garered the SBA’s Minority Small Business of the Year Award.
Cromedy’s firm specializes in the fabrication and installation of sheet metal ductwork primarily used for heating, ventilation and air conditioning in various commercial and industrial applications and provides HVAC equipment for both large and small project needs.
“I’m very humbled and I’m thankful that someone acknowledges what I’ve done and what I continue to do,” said Cromedy, who has been in business for the last nine years.
Cromedy was nominated for the award by Tania Fleming, vice president and commercial lender, MileStone Bank, a financial institution that caters to the needs of businesses and nonprofit organization.
“It was nice to see a young gentleman like him, get ahead and do well. It’s a pleasure to see him get the accolades that he deserves and we’re happy to be a part of his business and celebrate in his success,” said Fleming.
Cromedy expressed appreciation to his banking institution for the nomination.
“Milestone has been very good to me as a young entrepreneur and has been very supportive in what it is I do and to get some recognition from a banking institution is a lot different than someone who is in your direct field. We put in long hours in construction and to get a little recognition is good. It’s something that I don’t take likely,” Cromedy said.
He takes pride in working on high profile projects such as the Comcast Tower and the expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The contractor is currently working on two significant projects – the 153,000 square foot, $22 million Penn Medicine Washington Square facility located at 8th and Walnut Streets and the $30 million 2.0 University Place project at 30 North 41st Street in West Powelton. The five story office building is being developed by University Place Associates and will be anchored by the General Services Administration.
“I’m very proud to be a part of it because that area of the city is starting to really move and to be built up,” Cromedy says of the 2.0 University Place project.
“You don’t see that many minority contractors in the city be awarded such projects. Those are important projects for me and my organization. It shows what we’re capable of as a contractor.”
Cromedy has built Advantage Contracting into a successful construction firm in a climate that has been rather challenging for African American contractors.
“I think that my track record has spoken for itself over these last couple of years. I pride myself on having an organization that has honest business ethics. We do everything we say we’re going to do. If we make a mistake, we own up to it, but I think sometimes we have to work twice as hard to prove that we belong,” said Cromedy, who is a native of Lancaster, Pa.
Cromedy said his team understands that he is striving to be the best HVAC contractor in the area.
“At the end of the day, the people that work for you have to believe in your vision and what you’re doing and that’s a very hard thing to get people to do. In the field and in the office, they all understand that I’m working towards something that is bigger than me or them,” said Cromedy.
Last December, Cromedy was selected as one of a small group of minority business leaders from around the country to participate in a roundtable meeting at the White House with administration officials. The participants in the roundtable hosted by the White House Business Council discussed the fiscal cliff debate, the president’s budget plan and job creation opportunities.
Headquartered at 5702 Newtown Avenue, Advantage Contracting has about 20 employees.
Cromedy joins six other award winners in being recognized by the SBA. The award winners include, David Mark Wise II, president of G.S. Madison, LLC, the Philadelphia District Small Business Person of the Year; Zeigler Brothers, Inc., Small Business Exporter of the Year; Widener University Small Business Development Center, Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation; Gresham’s Chop House, Family-Owned Business of the Year; Ivelisse Alemany, CEO, Markant Corporation, Minority Small Business Person of the Year and Carol Topolski, owner of Plato Closet, Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year.
SBA Philadelphia District Director Dave Dickson said the agency sought award nominations from its lending partners, resource partners, economic development agencies and the business community. Nominees went through a rigorous review process and were vetted at the Washington, D.C. level.
He refers to the small business award winners as “the best of the best.”
“We get nominations from all over the 40 counties of Eastern Pennsylvania and Billy has come up on top. We are very pleased to be able to honor great businesses like this and we hold Billy up to other businesses to say ‘you too can do this.’” Dickson said.
The awards will be presented on June 5 during the SBA Day at the Ballpark event held at 10 a.m. at Chickie’s & Pete’s restaurant, 1526 Packer Avenue.
“As a regional and local recognition of the presidentially designated National Small Business Week award winners, this event is an opportunity to recognize the achievements of small businesses and its advocates in Eastern Pennsylvania,” said SBA Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho who will be the event’s keynote speaker.
“Every year the award winners honored at this event have truly distinguished themselves and represent the very best that the eastern Pennsylvania small businesses community has to offer.”
An upcoming seminar is geared toward providing key resources for small businesses and prospective entrepreneurs.
State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas will hold a Small Business Opportunity and Resource Seminar on May 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Temple University Fox School of Business, Alter Hall, 1801 Liacouras Walk.
“This seminar is part of the celebration of Small Business Month in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” said Thomas, Democratic chair of the House Commerce Committee.
“There’s a wealth of resources available to help businesses that people aren’t aware of. This seminar will provide information on city, state and federal agencies and organizations that can help folks get on track and take advantage of these opportunities.”
Participating agencies confirmed include Temple Small Business Development Center, Finata, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Pennsylvania Department of General Services, Governor’s Chief Technology Office, U.S. Small Business Administration, Philadelphia Commerce Department, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, Philadelphia Urban Renewal Community, The Reinvestment Fund, Women’s Opportunity Resource Center, Empowerment Group Women’s Business Center, North Philadelphia Financial Partnership, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Wells Fargo, Beech Business Bank, TruMark Credit Union and American Heritage Credit Union.
Entrepreneurs will be able to access information on MBE/WBE/DSBE certification, business tax credits/incentives, Enterprise Zones, Keystone Opportunity Zones and Empowerment Zones, as well as organizations that assist business start-ups.
Thomas said technology businesses will be able to learn about IT certification needed in order to bid on state technology contracts.
“Many technology entrepreneurs are not aware that they must also be certified by the by the Governor’s IT Office in addition to the required Department of General Service certification in order to bid on state technology contracts. Additionally, DGS will have representatives from their procurement and construction divisions on hand to explain the bidding process,” he said.
Business financing will also be a focus of the seminar.
“Small businesses traditionally have problems accessing adequate financing,” Thomas said. “That’s why we’ve invited several organizations that provide financing and access to financing. This seminar will be a one stop shop for business resource information.”
Registration is required to attend. May 24 is the deadline to register. To register visit www.pahouse.com/Thomas.
Services were held on May 9 for Wanda M. Clark.
Clark died on Thursday, May 2, 2013. She was 53.
She was born June 27, 1960 to Frank Lee Newman II and Edna Mae Wilson in Philadelphia. Clark was baptized as a member of Campbell AME Church. She was educated in the Philadelphia public school system and graduated from the Job Corps program.
She married Jeffrey Clark on June 25, 1995 and from this union their only daughter was born.
She supported her husband in his travels refereeing basketball games across the country.
Clark enjoyed shopping, traveling with her husband, spending time with her family and taking family vacations. Her family said she had an infectious laugh, was outgoing and sought out celebrities to pose for pictures.
Christmas and Easter were Clark’s favorite holidays. She took pride and joy in festively decorating her home and hosting holiday gatherings.
Her family said she cherished her daughter and grandchildren.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by her daughter, Camilla; grandchildren, Mayana Camille. J. Clark Robert, J’Yonn Rae and Ryleigh Saran; mother-in-law, Mildred Clark; brothers, Frankie (Butch), Jeffrey and Mark Newman; sisters, Donna Rice (Keith), Kimberly Newman; cousin, Vickilyn Williams Mallory; in-laws, James Richards (Phoebe), Virginia Morgan (Jimmy), Dana Clark Sr. (Jacqueline), George Clark Jr. (LaVonne), Linda Clark and Millicent Clark; goddaughter, Lisa Kittrel-Dixon (Antwine) and other relatives and friends.
Services were held May 9 at Campbell African Methodist Episcopal Church, 1657 Kinsey St. Burial was in Ivy Hill Cemetery.
Walton B. Brown Funeral Home handled the arrangements.