Joanna Foust joined the Pittsboro PACE program at Burlington in September of 2012. The native North Carolinian is the oldest of seven children, born in Roxboro in 1952. Foust suffered from polio as an infant and was in quarantine for a year. She has memories of her loving parents and family helping her through school and her father carrying her into church. Being limited in her mobility, Foust turned to books at a young age and would stay up late at night reading. After many surgeries, Foust was finally able to walk. She was 12 years old. A few years later, she fulfilled her mother’s dream and walked across the stage to receive her high school diploma from Cummings High School and then attended Alamance Community College in Business Administration. Foust became the first African-American manager for Pic & Pay Shoes in Burlington and was employed there for 24 years, setting up stores in Durham, Greensboro and Raleigh.
In 2012, Foust lost both her legs to amputation, but she says she never threw herself a pity party. The mother and grandmother says “I am proud of my achievements.” Foust enjoys collecting and preserving four-leaf clovers and watching TV game shows.