Features

Fighting childhood cancer

In memory of her son, Conner Crossan, who passed away in 2018 after losing his battle with osteosarcoma, Casey Crossan is selling mailbox bows through MIB Agents to raise awareness for childhood cancer.
According to Cancer.org, osteosarcoma is the most common type of cancer that starts in the bones and mostly occur in children and young adults.
Casey explained that Conner was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in April 2016.
“We went out of town for my dad’s 70th birthday,” Casey said, noting that since it was April, and they had just started wearing shorts. “My sister was walking behind him and asked why his knee was swollen. There was a bump on the right side of his knee.”
After seeing that his knee was swollen, and he was also having flu-like symptoms, Casey said they took Conner to urgent care on their way home.
“They took an x-ray and the doctor came back and said he made an appointment for us to see an oncologist at Brenner Children’s Hospital,” she said. “Initially, they didn’t think it was anything, but the ER x-ray technician knew right away that it was something serious and told Conner, ‘You’ll get through this.’”
Casey explained that they went to Brenner the next day, where medical staff did bloodwork to see what type of cancer Conner had.
“He was already metastatic (cancer had spread), but he never complained about the pain,” she said.
From there, a biopsy was done. Because the blood vessels were wrapped around his tumor, Casey said they were told Conner’s right leg would have to be amputated.
“The plan was to do chemotherapy for six months and then do the amputation, followed by another round of chemo for six months,” she said. “My husband and I agreed that we weren’t going to tell him about the amputation at first.”
Casey said the first week they went in for Conner’s chemotherapy, a PET scan was done and they learned that Conner had more tumors.
“He had tumors in his right and left shoulder, right hip and in both of his lungs,” she said. “At that point, the head of oncology went outside with us and said, ‘We’re going to do everything that we can.’”
Casey explained that once the other tumors were found and it was obvious that Conner had terminal cancer, they decided they were not going to do the amputation.
“They wanted to keep him on systemic therapy, so we had a fighting chance,” she said. “We were treated at Brenner actively for nine months. The first line of treatment was chemo three different times for nine months with one week at Brenner and one week at home for those nine months.”
Casey said they spent a year at the Cleveland Clinic with doctors that specialized in osteosarcoma, and they lived at the Ronald McDonald House. They also participated in a clinical trial for two months with Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Hospital.
Casey said they started a blog to keep people informed about Conner’s treatment and Casey and her husband, Bryan, both shaved their heads in September, four months after Conner was diagnosed, to raise money for St. Baldrick’s.
“That’s when I really started blogging,” she said.
Casey explained that the first chemotherapy treatments were rough; however, after getting anti-nausea medicine, Conner was able to live his life, and that’s what they did for the next two years.
Conner, who had previously attended Oak Ridge Elementary School, had a homebound teacher, and was able to do stuff with his friends when he felt good.
“We lived our life while he was sick,” she said.
Conner passed away on April 5, 2018, two years after his diagnosis.
Since Conner lost his battle to osteosarcoma, Casey has volunteered with the Ronald McDonald House and now is on the Patient Caregiver Advisory Board for Brenner Children’s Hospital.
Casey also got involved with MIB Agents, an organization whose mission is to Make It Better for children with osteosarcoma, and with Ruff Love by adopting a dog Conner had picked out a year before he was diagnosed. She has also worked with Shopping4Hope, and more.
Casey noted that MIB Agents have direct patient support, give an end of life experience, and fund research.
“We (MIB Agents) are the only 501(c)3 that hosts an osteosarcoma conference,” she said.
The golden bows fundraiser
Casey said MIB Agents for kids is selling golden bows for mailboxes during the month of
August to raise awareness for childhood cancer, leading up to Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September.
All funds raised from the sell of bows benefit MIB Agents. Bows are $20 and will be on sale now through September.
After the bows are purchased, Casey said she will personally deliver them, putting them on the mailboxes.
Casey added that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the children aren’t getting many of the things they were previously.
“This year, with no surprise with all the COVID restrictions in the hospitals, there are less things for kids to do. They are down to one parent, they have closed down the playrooms, there is no art therapy, no pet therapy, no music therapy, no Lego parties, friends can’t come to visit and celebrities can’t come to visit,” she said. “These are the things we’ve always done for kids, and we’ve gotten so many requests and everyone’s donations are down 50 – 60 percent for non-profits.”
Casey said the types of items children will receive include items of comfort and entertainment. Some of the items children will get include board games, noise canceling headphones, water bottles, pop sockets, socks, stickers, snacks, blankets, journals, art supplies, DIY projects, iTunes gift card, Amazon gift card and more.
Casey hopes to sell 500 bows this year.
“That’s $10,000. We’re selling them in different parts of the county this year, but a big chunk of that money will stay here at Brenner Children’s Hospital and Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte,” she said.
Casey’s goal now is to raise as much awareness about osteosarcoma and childhood cancer as she can.
“Osteosarcoma is rare and is the oldest form of bone cancer, but there haven’t been any new treatments in over 40 years,” she said.
There are 43 children diagnosed with cancer each day in the US. Only four percent of the National Cancer Institute’s budget is solely dedicated to childhood cancer research. In the last 20 plus years, only four new drugs have been approved to treat childhood cancers. There are over 12 types of childhood cancers.
To purchase mailbox bows online, visit www.mibagents.org/bows-conner. If you would like to pay by cash or check, send an email to Casey directly, casey@mibagents.org.

Beards for Babies

A local family is hosting their second annual Beards for Babies to help raise funds for Family Support Network of Central Carolina (FSNCC) and babies in the NICU.
As part of this year’s event, men are invited to grow their beards or style them for the virtual event, which will be held at 11 a.m. on September 13 through Facebook.
Founder and event organizer Ellen Thornton explained that the event was started after her dad shaved his beard to help raise money for FSNCC following the birth of her daughter, Kimber.
Thornton said both she and her sister, Erica Garlow, had children who spent time in the NICU. Her daughter was born September 19, 2018 via an emergency C-Section.
“It took 7 minutes for them to resuscitate her, followed by a two-week NICU stay. During our time in the NICU, different volunteers from FSNCC were constantly in and out visiting with our family and asking if we needed anything, like clothing for her and offering support,” she said. “Just the connection and experience we’ve had with FSNCC was very touching and emotionally, it was very helpful for us during a difficult time.”
Thornton explained that because FSNCC was so helpful during their daughter’s stay in the NICU, the family wanted to do something to help. Thornton said because her mom wanted her dad to shave his beard, they thought they’d challenge him to do it to help raise funds for a good cause and that’s when the fundraiser was born.
“We ended up doing the event for the first time last year and raised a little over $2,000 and over five large black trash bags full of baby’s clothes and diapers,” she said, adding that FSNCC does a lot for special needs children, not just those staying in the NICU. “They also provide books and do things for siblings of babies in the NICU, and they provide clothing, diapers and car seats for families in need.”
Thornton noted that everything they raise during the event goes to FSNCC.
“We had food and snacks and did a silent auction, and all of the food was either out of pocket or was donated,” she said.
Thornton said they are hoping the event will be an annual one, which is why, despite the pandemic, they are still hosting the event this year.
“Hopefully, next year, we can do things in person again,” she said. “We cannot accept any clothing donations right now because they don’t want to risk anything being contaminated.”
For the virtual event, there will be a silent auction and beard competition. The categories include Fullest Beard, Most Uniquely Styled or Decorated Beard, Longest Beard, and Best Overall Beard. The silent auction will end at 6 p.m.
Thornton explained that last year, the participants had to raise money from sponsors to shave their beads, but since they won’t be shaving this year, the entry fee to enter the competition is $25, which will get the contestants into all the categories.
“We’ll have prizes for each winner,” she said, adding that they are still collecting items for the silent auction.
Along with the beard competition and silent auction, Thornton also sells wine glasses, t-shirts and more. Thornton said they are hoping to raise at least $3,000 this year, especially since everything will be monetary donations.
Photos of contestants’ beards need to be sent to Thornton no later than September 11 so she can get everything entered and uploaded to Facebook before the event. To enter the competition, make a donation to the silent auction or make a monetary donation, contact Thornton at marley1123@hotmail.com or through Facebook messenger.
For more information about Beards for Babies or to participate in either the beard competition or the silent auction, visit www.facebook.com/Beards-for-Babies-108370917193437.

Remembering the Korean War

Today, June 25, 2020, marks the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War. Kernersville resident and retired U.S. Marines veteran Lt. Col. William S. Gerichten was there in October of that same year, serving as a machine gun section leader in D Company with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines.
Gerichten penned a letter titled “The Chosin Few” that details Gerichten’s war experience in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir and his memories of the men he served alongside. Gerichten shared the pages of his letter with the Kernersville News in recognition of the war’s anniversary.
According to Wikipedia, the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, also known as the Chosin Reservior Campaign or the Battle of Jangjin Lake, began on November 27, 1950 and lasted until December 13. “The battle was fought over some of the roughest terrain during some of the harshest winter weather conditions of the Korean War,” notes the online resource.
In his letter, Gerichten begins: “In October 1950 as a Sergeant in D/2/5, I served as a Machine Gun Section Leader. There were five MG Squads, two in my section, two in a section with Sgt. John Nagy, and one with Sgt. Kenneth W. Stewart in charge. Lt. Karle Seydel was our MG Platoon Leader,” Gerichten writes.
“In all our platoon activities in the combat area, moving forward against the enemy, defensive perimeter, patrol, outposts, Lt. Seydel was an excellent leader and motivator, with deep concern for the welfare of his men, their clothing, food, ammunition, and equipment. He had a deep sense of compassion, determination and dedicated professionalism.”
He continues.
“Many suffered the ravages of the bitter cold. When my feet were frozen and developed large blisters on the heels, I was recommended for evacuation. I pleaded with Lt. Seydel to let me stay. I needed to be with my unit. He agreed. I punctured the blisters every morning but by evening the fluid had returned.
“On the morning of December 6, I recall our men climbing a steep snow covered hill, made even more slippery by those who went before us. The men carrying the machine guns, and the ammo carriers with their cans of ammunition, had a very rough time. At one point there was a thick rope that someone had set up, and it helped us all.
“Just prior to our attack along the ridgeline, Marine aircraft flew low over us searching for the enemy. My MG section was attached to a rifle platoon. As we moved forward, one of my machine gunners, Cpl. Robert Dugan, was shot in the abdominal area. He was attended to and removed to a safe location. As the company attacked and secured the hill and ridgeline, we were ordered to dig in and assume a defensive position. As always, the ground was frozen solid and our entrenching tools were poor instruments for the conditions. My MG Squads were within shouting distance of each other. For some reason, we did not believe we would be there for long. Several thought that as the motorized convoy below moved on, we would all be following not too far behind.
“Night fell, and the Marine aircraft vanished. With darkness came the anticipation and expectation of extreme cold, and the enemy. It was to be one of our longest nights. The enemy began probing and moving toward our position. There was firing from both sides, and it steadily increased. Men were being shot. Some cried out for the Corpsmen. The crack of gunfire was everywhere. In a prone position near one of my MG’s, I was firing my carbine and encouraging my men. Mortars were being fired relentlessly. Someone stood up on the line and fired a WP rocket from a bazooka. People were being hit all around us. Concussion grenades were thrown at us. You could smell the enemy. Their bodies were stacked up in front of and just below us.
“Then there was the infamous Chinese bugle call. Lt. Seydel appeared below the ridgeline and called me below. He said we were pulling back. Take your men to the next ridgeline. Bullets were cracking all around us. As he turned his body to leave, he fell over into the snow. With all the communication wire that was lying on the ground, I thought he had tripped and fallen. I bent down to reach over and help him. It was then that I realized he was dead. As I began to return to my machine gunners to inform them of our orders to withdraw, some members of the rifle platoon had already left their positions and were off the ridgeline, our defensive perimeter.
“Sgt. Jones (whom I had known for over a year from our days in D/2/5 at Camp Pendleton) told his men to ‘get back to their holes.’ They said they could not because the enemy was already in them. Collecting my two MG Squads, we pulled back with the others, firing our weapons at the enemy, dragging and helping the wounded along with us.”
Gerichten continues to detail the unfolding battle.
“As we reached the hill behind us, I saw a line of entrenched Marines and felt some relief that there were others around. I asked who they were and was told ‘Fox Company.’ With many wounded among us, we joined their defensive line. We found more ammunition and participated in the continuing firefight. The intense fighting continued but the enemy did not move on this position. Instead they poured down the valley toward the convoy intent on overrunning and destroying it. Hundreds of them met their death from small arms and mortar fire, and short fused artillery shells, and the sheer determination of the defenders.
“As time passed, I started into the darkness of the area we had vacated. I hoped for daylight and the return of our aircraft. As I continued my visual search of the battle area we had left behind, at one point I thought I saw a yellow air panel (marker) way down below, move. I strained my eyes … SAW IT MOVE AGAIN AND THEN AGAIN. Suddenly I realized that someone was alive and signaling for help. I told one of my squad leaders that I was going down below to check it out. Sgt. Stewart, another MG Section Leader, said, ‘Don’t go! It’s a trap!’ I insisted on going. An officer nearby then agreed that it looked like the panel had moved, and could be a live Marine. He said I could go if I could get three others to go with me. PFC Decker, one of my machine gunners and two others joined, and we spread out and went below. It was then just barely light. Because of the steep and irregular contour of the hillside, I soon lost sight of the others. My weapon and I were ready for anything.”
Gerichten did indeed find a fellow Marine, he writes.
“Suddenly there appeared before me, in a small stand of bare bushes, a Marine with a yellow air panel standing alone. His abdominal area was blood red, covered with ice crystals. His bare head had a deep gash but was not bleeding. His parka, gloves, boots, headgear, and weapon had been taken from him. I’m sure the enemy had thought he was dead. I asked if he was alone or if anyone else was in the area. No response. I told him I’d be back as soon as I looked for any others.
“I made it to the top of the ridgeline we had left earlier that night. No live enemy was to be found. By then it was daylight. I waved back to our lines that all was clear. Returned to the man I had found and remained with him, as others came down the hillside. There were many dead. Most all had their cold weather clothing removed.
“Then I saw Lt. K. Seydel. His unshaven white face revealed a red beard of sorts. I felt complete sadness in the loss of this fine officer, and all he had meant to us. I accompanied the wounded man I had found, back to our front lines. As he lay on the ground, his body now covered, someone put a lighted cigarette in his lips. It quickly fell over to one side of his mouth. As he raised his hand to straighten it, I saw that all his fingers were white and frozen together. Another scene I will never forget. Believe his name was “Ski” something, from Baltimore. I have always wondered what his name was, and how well he survived.
“Someone pointed out that my face had yellow/tan dust on it. Must have come from the grenades that were thrown at us that night. The wooden stock of my carbine had marks where bullets had struck it. This may have occurred when Lt. Seydel was bringing me the word to pull back, the time he was killed.
“We later continued our march to the sea, with other battles remaining on the horizon.
“Semper Fi.”
Gerichten noted later that the man’s name who he had found was Preston Harry Hommerbocker and that he did find his home, but was told by his son that Hommerbocker had died recently. Gerichten also pointed out that what might have been a fatal gunshot wound to his chest was miraculously averted by a Bible that was in Hommerbocker’s pocket.
Gerichten was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps from 1946 to 1973. A Purple Heart recipient, Gerichten fought in the Korean War from 1950-1953.

Poteat retires

After spending 36 years in education here in Kernersville, Dossie Poteat is stepping in a different direction as he retires. However, he is not completely leaving the education world.
Poteat, whose initial interest going into college was to be an electrical engineer, said he changed his major after realizing he enjoyed seeing other people succeed.
“I wanted to be able to help others to be able to reach a future they desired and I didn’t see any other better way to do that than through education. I think it was something I discovered in college,” he said. “I enjoyed helping classmates be successful in their coursework. I got more fulfillment out of seeing other people succeed than working in an individual silo getting projects done (as an engineer).”
Poteat grew up in Yanceyville and graduated from North Carolina State University in 1984, where he met his wife, Gladys. Shortly after college, Poteat began his career teaching science at East Forsyth High School (EFHS) until 2001. From there, he took a position as the assistant principal at Kernersville Middle School. Poteat left there in 2005 to open East Forsyth Middle School (EFMS), where he served as the principal until his official retirement on March 31.
Poteat said it was his wife that pushed him toward administration.
“My wife told me that I needed to go back to school to get a masters, and the most convenient program I found was a masters in school administration that was offered through Appalachian State University,” he said, noting that the classes for that program were held at Winston-Salem State University. “When I finished, I was not convinced that I wanted to be an administrator, but I got an assistant principal’s job and that’s how I got into it.”
As for his career in education, Poteat said what he enjoyed most was the interactions with the students and seeing them in successful roles after graduating.
“The thing I tell people is that the purpose of education is to produce productive members of society. To me, that is my goal – to see students come through and later on when you’re out and about, you see them and are talking excitedly about their life and where they are living. That’s education,” he shared.
Similarly, as a principal, Poteat said he enjoyed not only the interactions with students but also working with adults – supporting and encouraging them.
“You’re not only working with the students to get them where they want to be in life, but you’re also working with adults to ensure what they need to do in life,” he said. “And, that may not be with you, but you support them in reaching their goals in life and support them in their family and support them if they want to go back to schools.”
One example of this was one of Poteat’s teachers at EFMS, Corie Maffett, who started out in education later in life as an assistant teacher around 2005. She then went back to school first for her undergraduate in education, then her graduate degree and again to earn her AIG licensure and has been very successful.
Poteat said he was very proud of how well the staff worked together at EFMS.
“I enjoyed that we brought together an extremely diverse staff to teach an extremely diverse student body. Most years, we had people that represented over 20 different nations in our school,” he said, as he explained that in the school’s cafeteria there are flags flying that represent students and staff from the different countries they have had at the school.
He said over the past six years, they also had students that came from 21 schools, who chose to come to EFMS.
When asked about some of the most memorable moments throughout his career as both an educator and principal, Poteat said there were so many, naming just a few. Of those, included opening a brand new school and planning the opening with other new schools opening at the time: Raegan High School and Atkins High School.
He added that as he was opening EFMS along with Stan Elrod at Raegan High School, Elrod’s advice to Poteat was, “Your job is to get the people who work with you everything they need to do their job, support them in it, and then get out of their way.”
He took Elrod’s advice and that’s what he has tried to do throughout his career as a principal.
“What we tried to do was to hire the best people for every job and put them in that position and then leave them alone. And it works,” he said. “What I’ve learned is that you can’t be the teacher in every classroom. You can’t be the support staff that does everything, but you can be there to cheer them on and make sure they are being successful.”
Another great memory Poteat recalled was the first day they opened EFMS, and a school board member came through surprised to see that the students were in class, as Poteat thought, “Where else would they be.”
“That was great,” he remarked.
A more recent memory that Poteat mentioned was the opening of the school’s Verizon Innovative Learning Lab.
“When we opened the school in 2005, I said, ‘I want this place to be a place where people can come in and to be trained and then they would be able to go out and train others,’ and I think this space would allow us to do this. I also said to our teachers, and I remind them of this each year, ‘Our students will never live in a world that we grew up in because that world is gone. They will not even live in the world that we are presently living in because we don’t know how quickly it’s transforming,’” he shared during the opening of the lab earlier this year. “Our goal as a staff is to help prepare our students for a world we don’t know how it’s going to go and we believe this new innovative lab space is going to give us that opportunity to work with our students.”
The new lab will allow students to learn for the future, visit different parts of the world in a unique way such as going on virtual tours, work and program robots, go through simulations and more.
Poteat said seeing students’ successes each year is a highlight as well.
“Each year, you remember the celebration of the eighth grade and being able to award and recognize students for their contributions throughout the years. I think for the last four years, students from East Middle have won the state writing contest sponsored by the Elks Club and we had multiple students that were district winners for the Science Fair,” he said, noting that those students then went on to the State Science Fair and placed well. They also had multiple winners for the District Spelling Bee. “You remember the accomplishments of the students and staff. That’s why you do it. That’s the only reason someone would do it.”
Some things Poteat said he is proud of include having five staff members that interned with him that are now school principals; he had numerous former interns that are assistant principals or hold other administrative roles in schools; numerous students were selected as Student of the Year for the United Way Women’s Leadership Council; he helped many corporations reach their United Way fundraising goals; the staff was trained to teach in a 21st century method; and the Multiple Abilities Program (MAP) for autistic students was very successful.
Throughout Poteat’s career, a number of people have been inspirational to his success, including Jim Wilhelm, a former principal at EFHS, who hired Poteat.
“I learned from him that everyday parents send you the very best they have,” he said. “That’s just amazing to think about.”
Another person Poteat noted was Debbie Brooks, a former assistant principal at EFHS and former principal at Kernersville Middle School, who told him, “You can’t be concerned with the skinny rabbits,” meaning, you can’t take the small issues and make them into huge mountains.
Former EFHS Principal Patricia (Trish) Gainey taught him how important it is to build relationships.
“Dr. Judy Grissom (another former principal at EFHS), I learned from her that you have to be willing to change from what you do know and to try something different,” he said.
From Dr. Angelia Fryer, the former assistant superintendent for middle schools in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, he learned that one should know the history of something before they try to change it.
Having worked for 36 years now, Poteat said it was time to retire, noting that he had an exit plan.
“Other people told me, ‘You’ll know when it’s time. But my thing was when I finished education, I wanted to do something else and so now, I am working at Agape Faith Church in Clemmons with our University Christian Education and the Connections Program,” he said, noting that he and his wife have been attending Agape Faith Church since 2000.
Poteat said he’s still teaching, just in a different way and at a different level.
Along with teaching at the college level, he said the church will be starting a K12 academy within the next two years, which he will help with.
“It’s in the planning stages now,” he said. “So, I didn’t really retire, just transitioned.”
Since his retirement, Poteat has enjoyed being able to walk a minimum of 45 minutes each day and has plans to go on an Alaskan cruise and travel to Europe with his wife once things open back up.
While he is enjoying his retirement, Poteat said he does miss EFMS.
“I miss the personal interactions with the staff, the students and the families,” he said. “I enjoyed my time in education in Kernersville.”
Poteat and Gladys have been married for 35 years and have two grown children, Joshua, 31, who lives in Charlotte, and Jodi, 26, who lives in Dallas, TX.

Craddock retires

As Glenn High School Principal Brad Craddock prepares to retire at the end of the month, his goodbye is a little bittersweet.
Having played baseball at East Forsyth High School in the 1980s and at the collegiate level while attending Guilford College, Craddock said his intention for entering the education field was to coach.
He said before he wanted to become a coach, his dream was to play baseball professionally, but when that didn’t happen as he had hoped, he turned to teaching.
“I wanted to be a baseball coach and the best way to get into coaching was to go into teaching,” he said.
But Craddock said it wasn’t just about wanting to be a coach; he also had a love for working with children. He shared that when he was younger, he worked at a YMCA day camp and enjoyed working with young people.
“It was baseball and a love for working with young people that led me to (the education) path,” he stated.
After graduating from Guilford College in 1990, Craddock found his first teaching position at Atkins Middle School, which is now the home of Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy. It was there that Craddock was inspired to pursue education further and go into administration.
Craddock said it was his principal at Atkins Middle School, Don Golding, that steered him in that direction.
“I really enjoyed working with young people and he told me that administration was a way to continue education. When coaching didn’t really happen, it just seemed like the right time in my life,” he said.
Craddock later received his master’s degree in administration from Gardner-Webb University, taking night classes, along with teaching full time. He also earned an educational specialist degree in 2013 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, while serving as principal at GHS.
After teaching health and physical education at Atkins and then Hanes middle schools, Craddock became an assistant principal at Carver High School from 1999 – 2005. He then moved to take the position as principal from 2005 – 2009 at the School of Computer Technology at Atkins Academic & Technology High School.
Over the years, Craddock said he enjoyed helping young people grow and develop.
“I enjoyed helping them see beyond what they could see, and helping to influence the next generation of leaders,” he said.
Cradock said he has not only enjoyed working with the kids at Glenn, but also being able to work in the community in which he lives.
“I think it’s really neat when you see kids not only at school, but in the community,” he said.
Craddock has also enjoyed seeing the kids of parents he taught years before.
Although there have been numerous highlights and memorable moments, some of Craddock’s top memories include his first graduating class and first four-year cohort of students go through both Atkins Academic & Technology and Glenn high schools. Others include becoming principal at GHS and presenting diplomas to both his son, Aaron, and daughter, Ashlyn, as they graduated from GHS.
“There are just so many times that (I’ve) helped a young person see something or helped them grow and all of the opportunities I’ve had to spend time and work with young people,” he said.
Over the years, Craddock said he has had so many people influence him through his career. Along with Golding, he mentioned Don Martin, former Winston-Salem/Forsyth County superintendent, Trish Gainey, who served as principal at East Forsyth High School and executive principal for leadership development of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, his high school colleagues and countless others.
“There have been countless people that I have learned from over the years,” he said.
Craddock said there have been a lot of milestones over the years, but some of his proudest moments have included being named 2016 Principal of the Year, and one year when the school was low performing, the next year exceeding that growth.
While he said he takes some credit in that growth, he said the credit actually goes to the teaching staff and the family atmosphere of the school.
“That’s one thing I’m most proud of. Regardless of the challenge I put in front of this group at Glenn, they’ve always worked hard at whatever the goal would be, even with a very diverse student body,” he said, noting that diversity has shifted over the years. “Despite the challenges, this group of teachers have made it happen.”
Craddock felt that this year was the time to retire, but he noted that it wasn’t an easy decision.
“I’m not as young as I used to be and this job is very taxing and stressful. I’ve put in lots and lots of hours and I decided that at some point in time, I needed to make a decision for me,” he said.
Along with that stress, Craddock said while he has a passion for education and young people, he wanted to get out before he burned out.
“If the passion is not there, you’re not going to be successful and it’s better to walk away,” he said, adding that at that point, a principal is no longer useful to their staff.
Craddock said he also feels that he’s leaving GHS in good standing, having brought the school’s rating to a 3.5, which, in the growth category of where they’ve come from, is a pretty good standing.
After he officially retires, Craddock plans to take a month or so off, but from there, he isn’t sure what the future holds.
“I haven’t had a summer off in 25 years,” he said. “I want to take some time to refocus on me.”
Craddock said while he is looking forward to retirement, he is going to miss the daily interaction with the students and staff.
“Even though it was a job, I never came to a job,” he said. “It’s hard to walk away from the relationships you’ve built with your staff and students.”
He continued.
“I’m grateful to this county and I’m grateful to have served doing something I’ve loved for 30 years. I hope I’ve made a difference.”

Cedar Breeze

After filling his house with handmade custom furniture, local resident Steve Coley turns to making bowls and woodturning, which he recently began selling on Etsy.
Coley, who is an engineer by day, said he began doing woodworking around 1990 and has since done a range of projects from building furniture and doing furniture repair to various other construction projects. More recently, he has turned to doing woodturning and bowl making.
“I was introduced to woodworking in college,” he said. “I had one more elective to take and decided I wanted to take a fun elective and chose to take a woodworking class.”
Everything he’s learned since taking that one class, Coley said has been taught with the exception of various woodturning symposiums he has attended to hone those particular skills.
While Coley said he has done a few commissioned projects, many of the things he has made have been for his home or as gifts.
“I started doing woodturning and bowl making because I pretty much built all the furniture in our home and literally ran out of space to keep my passion with wood active,” he said. “I started doing woodturning and bowl making because I could still be creative and get time in the shop, but I was building things that didn’t take up as much space.”
Of the things that Coley has made over the years, he said the most unique has been a violin. He noted that he also makes cell phone cases out of wood.
Next to the violin, Coley said the most unique small piece that he has made is a bowl, where he used some old barn wood from his grandmother’s barn.
“It’s not necessarily unique, but it has a lot of meaning,” he said. “Some of the commissioned work that I’ve done has been where people ask me to take a tree that has been in their family for a long time and make something out of it.”
As a member of Triad Baptist Church, Coley said he was also asked to build the pulpit and communion table for the church, and has built various things for the church’s Vacation Bible School.
When making furniture and various other things, Coley said he has worked with a lot of different types of wood. He noted that his favorite wood to work with is walnut. Another favorite of his is cherry because it has a nice rich color and a lot of character in the grain. Coley mentioned that the easiest wood to work with has been mahogany because it’s very stable, fairly soft, and stains uniformly.
“The most exotic wood that I’ve worked with is a wood called bloodwood, which has a deep rich red color that is very pretty. I used it for some accent color in some bowls I made,” he said.
While he has ordered some specialized wood for specific projects, Coley said most of the wood he uses are from logs that he’s seen while driving down the road.
“I’ll see a person cutting down a tree and ask for some or people who know that I do woodworking who are cutting down a tree will call and ask me if I want some,” he explained.
Normally, Coley said he spends about 10 – 12 hours a week in his workshop but during the pandemics, because he has been working from home, he said he has been able to spend upwards of 15 – 20 hours a week.
Because Coley has been making so many bowls and smaller pieces, he joked that he turned to selling on Etsy because his wife was tired of seeing them stacking up around the house.
When asked if there are any challenges to woodworking, Coley said there’s aren’t really any challenges, but he noted that one has to have an understanding of wood movement, whether they’re building a bowl or a piece of furniture.
“Wood is going to expand and contrast, so you have to take that into consideration so that the joints won’t separate and it will last for a long time,” he said.
Coley said what he enjoys most about woodworking is being able to be artistic.
“It allows me to express some creativity while working with my hands,” he said, adding that his inspiration comes from various sources such as doing research and reading different magazines. “I’m a member of the Piedmont Triad Woodturners Association and we share ideas there as well.”
Another hobby that Coley said he has is beekeeping. He noted that, naturally, he built all the hives for his honeybee colonies.
“I have eight bee colonies and harvest local honey here from the Kernersville area and usually take a few hives to the mountains to harvest sourwood honey as well,” he said. “We are part of the Forsyth County Beekeepers Association and we usually go to the Kernersville Honeybee Festival to sell our honey with other Forsyth County Bee Keepers.”
Coley noted that this weekend, he has plans to go out and retrieve honeybees out of someone’s home.
“I will generally relocate the bees back (to my) home and move them into a colony,” he said. “I’ve already caught five to six swarms this year.”
Coley said the name of his furniture and honey is Cedar Breeze named after the street he lives on, Cedar Breeze Court.
“I live on Cedar Breeze Court in Kernersville and have Cedar Breeze Honey, so I decided to stay with the name for the woodwork,” he said.
To see more of Coley’s work, visit his Etsy page at www.etsy.com/shop/CedarBreezeWoodwork.

5 Woods Life

Tommy & Kristi Wood grow microgreens and seasonal vegetables on a small farm in Kernersville, named 5 Woods Farm.
After choosing to leave the corporate world for a simpler life, the Wood family decided to start their own farm.
Tommy Wood explained that he and his wife, Kristi have had a garden since they were married in 2003, but after growing to a family of five and becoming more health conscience they decided to expand.
“About 10 years ago, our leisure time began to be watching health documentaries and our perspective on food and farming practices changed very drastically,” he said, adding that over the years, their practices have expanded. Along with 5 Woods Farm, they also have a holistic health business, His Anointed LLC.
Tommy noted that the name 5 Woods Farm comes from the fact that there are five Wood family members, they have a farm and it’s their life. Their children’s ages are 11, 10 and 8.
“The ‘life’ part of the name has a bigger story,” he mentioned, as he explained that they homeschool, farm together, teach holistic medicine together, serve at church together and spend their lives together as a family. Along with serving at The Bridge and homeschooling, Tommy said they also do taekwondo as a family.
Tommy said he officially left a 20-year corporate job in 2008.
“I wanted to spend more time with my family and grow health food for people,” he said. “We do a lot of microgreens and mostly salad crops and summer vegetables.”
Tommy admitted that when they first started the farm, there was a learning process.
“We’re still learning,” he said.
Having previously grown everything in garden beds on their farm, Tommy said this is the first year they have been able to erect caterpillar tunnels, which allows them to now grow all year long. He added that the four tunnels are non-heated and they have been growing continuously since January when they began growing in the tunnels.
Kristi added that each year since they started the farm, they have doubled their production.
While Tommy does most of the gardening as he enjoys getting his hands dirty, Kristi sees herself more as the communications manager. She also does most of the homeschooling and runs the wholistic business on the side.
“I am a registered nurse who turned into an herbalist,” she said, adding that she is working toward her certification to be a biblical herbalist. “We hope to have medicinal herbs by this fall or next year.”
Tommy explained that they chose to grow micro-greens because they are more nutrient rich.
“Microgreens have up to 40 times more nutrition than the adult greens,” he said. “We grow 27 different microgreens.”
When they harvest the microgreens, Tommy said they are usually 14 – 20 days old. He added that microgreens are baby vegetables and are not to be confused with baby greens, which they also grow.
Tommy mentioned that some of the food they grow consists of microgreens, including cilantro, radish, broccoli, mustard-southern giant, sunflower, and micro spicy mix; seasonal greens including mustard-baby greens, spinach, beet greens, kale (red Russian baby kale); lettuce and salad mixes such as romaine, green crisp lettuce, red leaf lettuce and butter green lettuce; herbs, including rosemary, oregano, sage, lemon balm, Italian green beans and pineapple sage; and edible flowers, including edible blossom sampler, edible nasturtium and edible violas. He mentioned that they are also growing blackberries this year.
“Microgreens are more tender and nutritious,” he said.
Kristi said as part of the homeschooling, their two daughters and son enjoy helping around the farm.
“It’s very educational for them to learn where their food comes from and it builds their work ethic,” she said.
As they focus on health and being wholistic, Tommy said they are certified naturally grown.
“That means we follow all organic practices. We don’t use any synthetic pesticides, we use all organic seeds and no GMOs,” he said. “We also work at building the soil with natural materials.”
Tommy said they originally primarily sold produce out of the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax, but now they only sell there os an as-need basis.
“Now, we mostly do online sales and pick up,” he said.
Along with selling to individual families, Tommy said they also sell to local restaurants including The Prescott in Kernersville, DaVinci’s Table in Burlington and the have just started working with Alexandria’s Bistro in High Point.
Tommy mentioned that they are also working toward building a farm store on site at their home.
“We’re saving money from market sales, but it will end up being a stand-alone building with glass coolers to keep product preserved and we’ll have parking and shelters so we can end up selling plants and other farm goodies,” he explained.
Kristi said along with taking orders online, they also offer CSAs (community supported agriculture) or “salad subscriptions.”
“We’re starting our second 10-week cycle, and then we’ll have a fall and winter CSA,” she said. “The weekend of June 12 – 14 is our first salad subscription/CSA, so there is still time for people to jump into the summer one.”
Kristi explained that the CSA is salad focused, but they will also have some summer crops like tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers, okra, edible flowers and more.
“By doing a CSA, people are investing in the farm to help us,” she said. “You can go to our website to sign up and we offer delivery for $5 within 15 miles of the farm, but most people are pick up.”
Tommy added that they update their shopping list every Thursday and people can subscribe to an email for a “fresh list,” which lists what is fresh from the farm each week.
Along with growing food for the community, Tommy said they also grow and raise other things for their own consumption, including eggs, honeybees, and chickens and turkeys for meat. They also have two farm cats.
When asked what they enjoy most about 5 Woods Farm, Tommy said, “Watching God’s creation grow and spending time as a family. The office space is beautiful.”

New library director

Brian D. Hart took on the position as the new director of the Forsyth County Public Library System earlier this month after the retirement of Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin on December 30, after 40 years of service.
Hart, who lives in Kernersville, was raised in Columbia, South Carolina. After high school, he earned his bachelor’s degree in English from South Carolina State University and his Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina. He is currently working on completing his second Masters in Public Administration from Georgia College and State University.
Hart’s interest in serving in libraries started when he became a volunteer conversation partner in a program titled, “Let’s Speak English.”
“It gave me an opportunity to assist speakers of other languages with their command of the English language in a comfortable and non-judgmental setting,” he said. “This helped open my eyes to the breadth and depth of services that libraries offered to positively impact the communities they serve.”
Following his time as a volunteer, Hart found his first position as a library assistant and then a circulation supervisor at the Richland County Public Library in Columbia, SC.
Since that time, Hart has worked in numerous other roles in various libraries, including Howard County Library System in Columbia, MD as the teen instructor and research specialist; Charlotte Mecklenburg Library – Hickory Grove Branch in Charlotte, NC as a librarian and assistant branch manager; Charlotte Mecklenburg Library – BFR Regional Branch in Charlotte as the children’s services manager; Middle Georgia Regional Library in Macon, GA as the assistant director and head of public services; EveryLibrary in Riverside, IL as the director of special projects and initiatives; and more recently the Greensboro Public Library in Greensboro as the deputy director.
Hart took on the position as library director at the Forsyth County Public Library in Winston-Salem on May 4.
While his office is located at the Central Library in Winston-Salem, Hart mentioned that, among many other things, he works and supports a team of professionals and library staff across the county to provide vision and direction for all of Forsyth County Public Library’s 10 physical locations, to book mobiles, and the website, which offers residents access to a host of online databases, digital resources and virtual programs.
When asked why he chose to enter the library field, Hart said he really appreciates community.
“I just really appreciate community and the opportunity to assist in their advancement. From providing story-times that promote early childhood literacy and school readiness to regularly assisting individuals with resumes and other professional resources that promote workforce development and/or support their entrepreneurial efforts. Libraries help to enhance a community’s overall quality of life, so I am honored to be able to assist and positively impact Forsyth County in that way,” he said.
Hart said, naturally, he enjoys reading and noted that his favorite genre is nonfiction, particularly inspirational or self-help books.
In looking to the future during the COVID-19 coronavirus, Hart spoke to the interests of those wanting to know when libraries will reopen.
“Our staff is currently working on a phased re-opening plan that will eventually allow us to safely and responsibly reopen our physical locations to invite customers back into the buildings,” he said. “Until then, we ask that customers take full advantage of our ‘To-Go’ Library, which allows them to reserve or request materials from their homes and then visit their neighbor branch or preferred location to pick up the materials from our lobbies.”
To read more about Hart and his message to the community after being hired, visit the Forsyth County Library website, www.forsyth.cc/Library/directors_message.aspx.

President’s Award

After having been awarded the President’s Award for his continuous efforts on writing grants for Piney Grove Fire and Rescue Department (PGFRD), Assistant Chief Chris Klutz was humbled and eager to give credit back to his department.
During the PGFRD awards banquet, where Klutz was presented with the award, Chief Jimmy Barrow went into depth as to why Klutz was being given the President’s Award.
“Chris serves as Assistant Chief at Piney Grove Fire Rescue Department. He received the President’s Award for his continued support of the department over the years. He has been instrumental is obtaining grant funding for the department at state and federal levels,” he said. “In the last four years, he has obtained grant funding in the amount of (around $800,000 – $850,000).”
Barrow further explained that Klutz has obtained funding for recruitment and retention of volunteer staffing as well as for equipment, including the recent grant they received for $76,806 that has allowed them to replace the entire hose loads on all fire apparatus.
“Much of the hose is approaching 20 years old and is now failing annual service testing,” he said.
After learning that he was receiving the award, Klutz responded by giving credit back to his department.
“Piney Grove has approximately 37 members on the roster. We depend on several others to ‘keep the wheels greased,’” he said. “It takes a lot to run an organization such as ours, especially if you are trying to stay ahead of the curve and be progressive. There were certainly other deserving candidates.”
He continued.
“It’s a nice gesture from the Board and Corporation. A lot of effort gets invested. If the department is successful, then I am successful. I am thankful for the opportunity to improve the department and grow professionally.”
Klutz explained that he grew up as a “military brat,” traveling all over the country, until he settled in Kernersville in 1999.
He shared that he first knew he wanted to be a firefighter shortly after 9/11.
“I never thought about the fire service until after 9/11,” he said. “Shortly after, I joined the fire service in 2003.”
Klutz began his fire service career at Walkertown Fire Department. He joined PGFRD in December 2007.
“I worked full-time for PGFRD for a year prior to accepting a position with Forsyth County EMS in December 2008,” he said. “In 2012, I accepted a position with the City of High Point Fire Department.”
Along with working at PGFRD, Klutz continues to works full-time for the City of High Point.
Klutz said what he likes most about the fire service is that every day presents a new challenge.
“There’s still an adrenaline rush when the bell goes off. You never know what you are going to see or what you’re going to do. There’s an old adage, ‘We are at our best when people are at their worst.’ At the end of the day, we are here to make a difference,” he shared. “Being a firefighter is still arguably the most noble of careers and we have the ability to touch the lives of our communities, especially the youth who look up to us.”
In his role as assistant fire chief, Klutz said his goal has been to leave the department better than it was when he walked in.
“We have a fairly young department, but we do have some seasoned folks that work for us. The department faces several challenges moving forward into the future. Many of our folks look to me to find solutions to problems that pop up, whether they are operational issues or administrative or strategic concerns,” he said. “My goal upon taking the assistant chief position merely was to leave the department better than it was when I walked in. The department has accomplished a lot in recent years – a Class 3 ISO rating, implementing a lot of new equipment and technology, increased staffing, doing more for our volunteers and paid staff, and greater training opportunities.”
Over the years, Klutz said he has been fortunate enough to have learned a lot about state and federal grants, as well as private foundational grants, allowing him to help bring in around $800,000 – $850,000 in grants to the department, which have provided them with various new equipment including breathing apparatus, hose and nozzles, turnout gear, and recruitment and retention.
“I was fortunate to connect with someone that helped me with my first grant opportunity, something I am very thankful for. I have also served as a grant reviewer for FEMA, which was a great learning opportunity,” he said. “These opportunities have all helped the department improve in a relatively short time period, many of which we could not do within the confines of our annual operating budgets.”
Being a firefighter, the job can be scary and stressful. Klutz said things can “get hairy” on calls that firefighters respond to, especially medical calls. He explained that they always try to maintain situational awareness, but said some things are inevitable.
“Patients with weapons on them or near them tend to make you perk up,” he stated.
When it comes to the stress of the job, Klutz said it’s the same with many other jobs.
“Some stress is good; some stress is bad. Some handle stress better than others,” he said. “For me, it’s knowing when to take some time off and when to step away from something to regroup. A good cup of coffee, a chat with old friends, and a long walk with your dog goes a long way. Of course, a vacation with your spouse usually does not hurt either.”
In staying calm on a scene, Klutz said there is a well-known acronym in the fire service, known as CHAOS or “Chief has arrived on scene.”
“We try not to live up to that. My job is to stay calm. Followers tend to emulate their leader’s behavior and demeanor. If I am not calm, regardless of the situation or environment, chances are, my firefighters aren’t either,” he explained. “Sometimes, it’s hard to step back and take the 5,000-foot view of the situation, but we have to do it. It’s easy to get tunnel vision. Sometimes, you just have to take a deep breath and regroup. Experience and familiarity to similar situations helps a lot.”
Although there are scary and stressful moments, Klutz said he enjoys his job, especially when it comes to being a mentor.
“I have had the chance to mentor quite a few people since I started in the fire service. When someone new walks through the door, I make it a point to sit down with them and see where they want to go and what their goals are,” he said. “Many people use the volunteer fire service as a stepping stone to transition into a paid career firefighter. Whatever their aspirations, we can lay out a plan to get them there.”
As assistant chief, Klutz said the hardest part about his job is interacting and building relationships with people. Not just interactions with the public in their time of crisis, but with personnel and the personnel of their neighboring departments.
“We all have different personalities and beliefs. We all have different motivations that drive us. Piney Grove is a combination department. We have full-time, part-time and volunteer staff, all of which have different desires and motivations to engage and satisfy,” he explained. “When personalities clash and problems arise, it’s my job to help mediate them. Sometimes, being a chief officer is more about being a counselor. The majority of problems can be resolved through effective communication.”
Along with working at PGFRD and High Point Fire Department, Klutz is working on his Master of Public Administration Candidate at Appalachian State University, on target to finish this fall.
In his spare time, Klutz said he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, traveling to the mountains to fly fish or kayak, and going to the beach.

Front line news on Covid-19

After agreeing to travel to New York City (NYC) to help patients with COVID-19 in one of hardest hit cities in the nation, Tara Tomlinson, a critical care nurse with Novant Health Kernersville Medical Center (KMC), shares what it was like to serve on the front lines.
Tomlinson has been a nurse for almost 12 years and has worked at KMC for a little over two years.
Tomlinson said she signed up to go to NYC to help because they were getting burdened with the lack of staff there.
“I just wanted to see if I could go up there and help,” she said, noting that the agency chose the location where she would be working. “I was there for two weeks, from April 12 – 26.”
After finding an agency that would allow her to go on a short-term assignment, Tomlinson took a short-term leave of absence from KMC to head to work at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, which she explained is a large teaching hospital with a large ethnically diverse Hasidic Jewish population.
“I ended up being at a very high need hospital in that area and some of it did relate to some cultural reasons,” she said, adding that pretty much the entire hospital was filled with people who had been diagnosed with the COVID-19 coronavirus.
While in NYC, Tomlinson said she worked in a variety of intensive care units (ICU), adding that the hospital turned “every nook and cranny” into an ICU due to the intense need. She mentioned that some units even had two patients to a room where there would normally be one.
Tomlinson said it was a scary experience.
“I think it is scary because of what you’re dealing with. I think it’s a little more somber and quieter than we’re used to a hospital being, but it was always very busy,” she shared.
Like many hospitals right now, Tomlinson said there wasn’t a lot of visitation, so she didn’t have a lot of interaction with families, but she said there were a few cases where a rabbi would be in a room with a patient.
Tomlinson said almost every patient she had was intubated, so she didn’t interact with them.
“There weren’t any quick ICU patients, and most were there for extended periods of time,” she said. “The patients are really sick.”
The youngest person Tomlinson said she saw in the ICU was in their 30s and noted that she easily saw patients in their 40s that weren’t going to make it out.
Tomlinson said she took care of a male patient who had been there for three weeks in the ICU, who was in his 40s, had kids and didn’t have a lot of past medical history.
With the number of people that were taken by the virus, Tomlinson said there was a refrigerated area that had to be set up next to the hospital to make room for the bodies because they ran out or room in the hospital morgue.
“There was an overwhelming sense of sadness there,” she said, noting that every day that she walked to the hospital, the refrigerated area outside of the hospital would grow due to the number of bodies being stored there.
“These patients aren’t numbers; they are real people with families,” she said. “I think it is easy to look at all of these numbers, but we have to remember that these numbers are fathers, mothers, aunts and uncles, family members and rabbis. It’s difficult to look at these patients and think they aren’t going to make it.”
To protect herself and the people around her, Tomlinson wore her personal protective equipment (PPE) about 13 hours a day, and had marks on her face at the end of each day after removing her glasses, mask, and face shield.
Outside of the hospital, Tomlinson said it wasn’t much different in regards to being quiet and somber.
She stayed in a hotel near the hospital mostly walked to work. She also took the subway some.
“I’ve been to NYC before and how quiet the city was, it was like a ghost town. It’s nothing like the NYC you know. Usually, it’s noisy all the time and there weren’t many cars on the road,” she said.
While it was somber, Tomlinson explained that there was a sense of hope from those she came across who had a deep respect for medical staff.
She said in the elevators, there were cards posted and she had a little area in her hotel room where she kept cards and flowers she received from friends, staff from KMC and her family.
“My grandkids sent me pictures, so every time I came (to my hotel), I saw them,” she said. “Even walking along the street the first night there, when I started thinking ‘what have I done’ after doing orientation, there were three or four people who put their heads out of their window and said, ‘We love you.’ It was just so encouraging.”
Another day Tomlinson said she felt encouraged was when she was walking on the sidewalk and a guy, in what she called true NY fashion, waited until he was right next to them as he passed, put his head down and said, “Thank you guys.”
“It’s those non-grand gestures that really keep you going when you reach the end of your rope,” she shared.
After returning from spending two weeks in NYC, Tomlinson had to self-quarantine for two weeks before she could return to work. She also explained that her husband is in a high-risk category, so she had to stay confined to a room in her home, where her kids set up a room in their house with a mini-fridge to help make those two weeks a little more comfortable.
Having spent two weeks in an area with so many cases, Tomlinson said it made the pandemic and the threat very real for her.
“I have dealt with patients before, but this made it so incredibly real. There wasn’t a patient that wasn’t positive. The suffering is real and it makes you realize how bad it can get,” she said. “So, now that I’m here and people aren’t taking it seriously, it is hard because I’ve seen the worst-case scenario.”
Having been on the front lines with dying patients and seeing the pandemic first hand for all that it can be, Tomlinson has a message for those around her.
“I want people to realize that not only are these actual people’s families, but this also isn’t a time for paralyzing fear or a time for blatant disregard. We need to respect it and take it seriously,” she said. “We are doing these things to not only protect ourselves, but also all the people in the community.”
Tomlinson added that as restrictions are being lessened, she wants people to remember that it doesn’t mean the virus is gone.
“We still need to be cautious and continue to take it seriously,” she said. “A lot of what we are doing is to protect other people. There are a lot of people that are in an uproar over wearing a mask, but we’re protecting others. You can be asymptomatic and easily pass it on to someone.”
While Tomlinson took a risk to help people in NYC, she said it feels small in comparison to what other medical staff there have been doing.
“I feel like what I did was very small compared to what those NYC nurses had gone through. It was overwhelming and life changing,” she said.