In 2011 more than 230,000 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in the US. One of those was Marlene Pope. Describe by her husband as positive and caring, the Monongalia County resident won her fight with a positive attitude.
It was the week of Mother's day in May of 2011, when Pope received the news. Her biggest concern was how her three kids and six grandchildren would take the news.
"The thing that worried me the most was hair loss and frightening them," said Pope. "That was the biggest thing, was worrying about their response."
"Obviously it was a shock, as it usually is I'm sure for any person receiving the news."
Pope was diagnosed with HER2 Positive, a type of breast cancer that ultimately came with two surgeries and chemotherapy treatments. But she was not about to let that slow her down.
"From the beginning, I decided that I was not going to let this change my lifestyle and what I do," said Pope.
Fans of the outdoors and swimming, Marlene and her husband Robert have always maintained an active lifestyle. It was her positive attitude that led their charge against cancer.
"She's a very positive person to begin with," said Robert Pope. "When you see her attitude, it's like, there's no need for me to be overly concerned because her attitude is such that this is going to work."
For any cancer patient, a support staff makes all the difference. Marlene said hers made her smile every day.
"Everybody was wonderful, and I received cards and emails continuously, and it was always a pleasure to go to the mailbox and find another card from somebody," said Pope.
Family history of breast cancer meant she took precautions all her life, but Pope said she never expected to have to battle the disease herself.
When she did, her family stood beside her every moment; fighting a fight they were never going to let her lose.
"I lost my father when he was 53, I was 21. He died of colon cancer," said Robert, "I had already been impacted by the loss part of it, and I was not going to let that happen."
Marlene Pope has been cancer free for nine months. The Popes said their relationship today is stronger than ever.