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Survivors

Colorado Springs woman marries love of her life during cancer treatments

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - In 1992, Barbara Hoeppner beat breast cancer, and for the past 28 years, she has treated each day as a gift.

"I guess I just decided that's it, I'm not going to die from breast cancer. I have a life to live, I have kids to raise so I just went in with an attitude that I'm going to kick this and get it done," Hoeppner said.

Hoeppner was a single mom at the time of her diagnosis, raising a 13-year-old and 15-year-old, and had just started dating a man named Tom.

"We got engaged right after I found out that I had the breast cancer, and he wanted to get married sooner rather than later just to help take care of me," Hoeppner said.

Barbara and Tom had an at-home wedding while Barbara was in the middle chemo.

"I was totally bald had a gross catheter. It was quite an affair. We are still, 27 years later, married and he's still very supportive," Hoeppner said.

In their 27 years together, Barbara and Tom have found the time to celebrate Barbara's breast cancer milestones.

"At my five year point, my husband took me on a three-week vacation to Australia and New Zealand. He had asked me, 'where would you want to go if you make it five years?' And that's what I said and we had a blast," Hoeppner said.

Barbara and Tom have enjoyed traveling over the years and say they make the most of what they have because life is too short.

"The biggest lesson I learned was to have a positive attitude, don't sweat the little things in life. There are so many things that people focus on that have no meaning at all in the day-to-day life. I just learned to be patient and go with the flow and treat each day as a gift - which it is," Hoeppner said.

Join Barbara and other breast cancer survivors in the fight against breast cancer by participating in the virtual More Than Pink Walk on Sunday, September 27.

For more information, and to sign-up go to KomenColorado.org.

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Hanna Knutson

Hanna is the traffic reporter for Good Morning Colorado. Learn more about Hanna here.