PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Patty Ann Hamre was running a successful cleaning business in 2016 when she felt a lump in her breast during a self exam.
Even though the mammogram didn’t show cancer, Hamre knew something was wrong, so she went to a breast surgeon for a skin biopsy.
Hamre was on vacation when she got the call saying her biopsy was positive.
“I had to tell my mom and tell my clients,” she said. “I had a business I was running — the hardest part was telling people I was sick. That was the hardest part.”
Hamre’s cancer turned out not to be inflammatory but she was diagnosed at Stage 3A and underwent chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and deep flap surgery, then radiation. But she never lost her fighting spirit.
“I would pick her up and she would have a full face of makeup and we were like going for radiation and that set the tone, ‘You bring your best.’ I had to step up my game,” Janice Dilbeck said.
But Hamre’s business suffered.
“I lost most of my clients,” she said. “You have to just concentrate on going to the doctors.”
After she recovered from surgery, during their daily rides to radiation, Hamre and her friend Dilbeck started batting around ideas for how to get her business back on track.
“Now, it’s time to think, ‘OK, how am I gonna make a living? I’ve got maybe two clients left,'” she recalled.
So, Dilbeck suggested to use cancer to bring it back.
“She said let’s go talk to the Komen foundation,’ and I said, ‘I know them. When I was poor, they paid for me to have mammograms. Amazing.'”
And that’s when Wonder Maids was born.
Hamre has always loved Wonder Woman and when she was sick, that became the name her prayer army called her.
And Wonder Maids gives back as 2 percent of profits go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
“You gotta always give back,” Hamre said. “That’s why we’re here, love. Love is the answer.”
On Mother’s Day, Hamre will be sure to share that love with her own mother, who was by her side during her whole fight.
“I can’t even put into words. She just kept me going no matter what, didn’t matter what happened, she just picked me up and put me in the chemo chair,” Hamre said.