Life gave her lemons, so she made lemonade
Sharon Duncan started on a career in cancer research right out of college.
The Pearland resident was headed in a positive direction in life, but it wasn't too much longer before she found herself facing challenges.
She got married, but her son developed behavioral issues. She and her husband divorced.
She was struck by a car, but survived with relatively few injuries.
But she got through it all, and now at age 50, she finds herself a successful businesswoman.
"Sharon's a leader. She sets the bar very high and then leaps over it. You would think she's a track star by the way that she leaps over her goals," said Joni Snow, the customer service manager at Selah Financial Services, 1550 W. Bay Area Blvd., which Duncan owns.
Duncan, now remarried, shares a ranch house with her husband, father and stepmother. Her motto is simple: Know your dreams because if you have no destination, you'll end up no place.
"At one point I was living in a nightmare I had never imagined. Now, I am living in a dream that I never could have imagined," she said.
Duncan, who grew up in New York, first faced adversity in her life when she was just a child. When she was 6, her 3-year-old brother died of meningitis.
Duncan said her parents didn't allow her or her siblings to attend the funeral.
"I never really had closure until I was about 13. That was really tough on me," Duncan said. "We knew he was gone, but we didn't really understand what that meant."
Life went on. Duncan married her college sweetheart and had two children by the time she was 25.
Her second son, Chris, was a happy baby – until about 4 months of age, when his temperament changed. To make matters worse, Duncan and her husband divorced soon afterward.
She soon realized that her son's deteriorating behavior was not a result of her parenting. Duncan did everything she could to care for him.
"I couldn't work 40 hours a week and give him the attention he needed. So, I started my own information technology consulting business," Duncan said.
She struggled with her son's behavior for several years but she was finally able to get it under control.
"Someone else would have given up and blamed others. Sharon gets it done, gets past her struggles, is responsible, and takes action," said Robin Stanaland, a friend and business associate of Duncan's. "She has never wallowed in the crud that life gave her."
Jessica O'Rear is a student at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. If you have a suggestion for a "Faces in the Crowd" profile, contact Richard Zagrzecki at email@example.com or send a fax to 713-362-7552.
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