When you think about establishing your bucket list, usually you will create a list around things that you hope to aspire to do when the time is right. For Margie Cope, Director, Technology Solutions with Travel and Transport, she experienced a bucket list moment earlier than she had ever anticipated.
In the spring of 2011, Margie went in for her routine mammogram where doctors found three areas of ductal cancer in her left breast. The aggressive cancer was HER2 positive which meant that she would be required to go through chemo and have a mastectomy. Obviously shocked and unsure what lie ahead for her, Margie was determined to tackle the disease and overcome this diagnosis. For anyone that knows Margie, she is one of the fiercest competitors around. She has always been committed to her personal health so to have cancer step in her way was not an option. She was determined to fight this disease and win. In May, Margie began four months of chemo and underwent a double mastectomy in October. Throughout chemo Margie continued to teach Pilates and water aerobics three times per week! This in itself is the sign of a true fighter. In 2013, doctors told Margie that she was officially in remission. A HUGE sense of accomplish for Margie and her team of doctors, friends and family.
Two years after receiving a frightening diagnosis, Margie was back to her normal routine; teaching Pilates and water aerobics, cheering on her favorite football team, the Carolina Panthers and volunteering for the American Cancer Society. That was until one of Margie’s good friends Fred Chuck nominated her for an experience of a lifetime.
In celebration of the NFL’s “A Crucial Catch” program, which is focused on the importance of annual breast cancer screenings, the Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen and his mother Susan, who is a 12-year breast cancer survivor, created the “Keep Pounding for a Crucial Catch Carolina Panthers Game Day Experience.” Panther’s season ticket holders were asked to nominate cancer survivors in the Carolinas for the ultimate fan experience. To be eligible, the nominee needed to be a Panthers fan, must have a demonstrated record of community service with a non-profit breast cancer advocacy organization and submit a letter from their healthcare provider. Chuck saw this as chance to help Margie fulfill one of her biggest dreams. “Margie has been a fan of the Panthers since their inception. Watching her battle cancer and win was a true inspiration. I could not think of anyone more deserving of this nomination,” Chuck said.
In early October of this year, Margie was notified that she was selected as a VIP guest for the Panthers game day experience. Margie and her husband Larry were invited to be on the field with the players two hours before game time for warm up. They then watched the game from a luxury skybox with 11 other survivors and guests while Susan Olsen served as host for the day. “It was not really the best way to check something off my bucket list but it was truly one of the most memorable days of my life. The outpouring of support from fans and family was overwhelming and I cannot thank everyone enough for this experience.”
Margie continues to volunteer and works with those currently battling cancer to serve as a voice of hope. “Staying in good shape is physically and mentally challenging when you are facing cancer. By surrounding yourself with positive people who are there to encourage you along the way it makes you want to fight just that much harder,” said Margie.
To all of the cancer survivors, those currently fighting and those we remember, Travel and Transport salutes you!