Pharmacist Fred Band has served his community for 50 years

DETROIT (WXYZ) - For 50 years Fred Band has always paid attention to detail when it comes to the care of his patients, who depend on his expertise for getting the dosage to their medications just right.

He and his brother started Band Pharmacy on the northwest side of Detroit when he was only 25-years-old.

On 7 Mile Road, near the Lodge Freeway, is where he has stayed, not because he has to be here, but because he has a love for the people he serves - like the Ward family.

Angellita Ward says, "When you come in, it feels like family. They call you by name, it's welcoming."

Angellita and Jermaine Ward have two girls, with a third baby on the way, and when they lost their insurance, it was Band Pharmacy they continued to turn to, because of Fred, who continues to keep prices for their medication affordable - even when they lost their insurance.

Angellita says, "My husband said 'Don't worry about it. I know someone I've been going to for years, it won't be a hardship'."

Fred Band says, "Oftentimes, I give it for nothing, because they can't afford it. God has treated me well. I have to treat others with that same respect."

Angellita's husband Jermaine actually wrote Channel 7 a letter saying 'We hear so many stories on the news about the racial divide in our community and Fred is one who spreads love instead of hate.'

Carolyn Clifford asks, "Tell us, Jermaine, why did you decide to write us a letter about someone like Fred?"

Jermaine Ward says, "Fred is a wonderful man, he loves people."

Fred Band says, "I'm not afraid. People are people. You can't look at someone differently, I bleed the same as everybody else."

Jermaine Ward says, "I love the fact that him, being a white gentleman, he could have been in any other community, but he stays in the neighborhood that he grew up in."

Fred grew up just a few blocks from Band Pharmacy on Freeland. He's a graduate of Mumford High and Wayne State, so Detroit is in his blood and Fred shows real concern for his patients.

"I had an opportunity, a number of years ago, to move somewhere else," he says. "I just couldn't do it. I told my wife I have family here and Detroit is my family."

At 75, Fred says this is not a job for him, this is what he loves and what he lives for.

Fred Band says, "People, they deserve respect. It's an honor for me to walk into my pharmacy. It's the way I look at it. This is not a business, this is a family."

For the Ward family, it's a lifeline they hope will continue for another 50 years.

Angellita Ward says, "I pray that he will continue and inspire others to stay as well."

That's why we choose Fred Band as our Person of the Week.

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