By Chuck Pollycutt
8:33 PM PDT, October 10, 2012
Breast cancer is usually never the main topic around the family dinner table, but for Marybelle Plourd and her five sisters this sensitive issue has brought into focus how precious life is and how important family and loved ones are. Four of the six sisters, including Plourd herself, have firsthand knowledge just how close to home this disease can strike.
Plourd is blessed, no question. Her faith, her supportive husband, her sisters all contributed in providing her with the strength she needed to get through the worst of her dark days of illness. Now as a survivor she feels compelled to share her story with everyone she can because ‘self examination’ most probably saved her life. But that was awhile ago. Meeting Plourd today, a beautiful, intelligent, educated mother of two, all one sees is a vibrant woman filled with passion to serve God, her family, and her community. To really understand her and her sisters’ incredible journey, a bit of background is needed.
Many may remember the Mendoza clan of eight kids growing up in Brawley — Marybelle, Alice, Maria, Esther, Yolanda, Hortencia, Fernando and Raul. When speaking of her childhood, Plourd’s eyes light up. “I wanted to be an airline flight attendant, always! From the time I was in the second grade I just knew that was what I was going to be.”
And she did, eventually. Graduating from Brawley High in 1982, followed by beauty school, she worked as a hairstylist but never lost sight of her dream. With what would be regarded as consistent persistence, she relentlessly pursued the airlines. In time, United Airlines hired her and suddenly off to Chicago she flew. “My parents were devastated,” smiles Plourd. “We’re Mexicans. You don’t just pack up and go far away like that, especially daughters. But I did it. Flying internationally I saw the world and I’ll never regret my 16-year career with United.”
But returning to the Valley, marrying Bill Plourd and leaving the airlines behind will no doubt be the best decision of her life considering the cancer cells that were lurking in her body. It quickly becomes evident how strong her marriage is. “Bill’s a great man,” says Plourd. “He’s been there for me every step of the way with my illness. He’s such a great provider, father and husband. We’ve known each other for many, many years; it just took the right moment in time for us to come together. I truly believe that God had a hand in it all.”
Read more about Plourd in the September/October 2012 edition of Valley Women Magazine in print or our online E-Edition
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