Parents

Marine poses as doctor to surprise his mom during chemotherapy: 'He's my strength'

When Mary Glasure had to undergo her first chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer this month, the mother of seven admittedly needed a morale boost.

Just when she was getting depressed at what appeared to be another doctor entering the room in scrubs at Tony Teramana Cancer Center in Steubenville, Ohio, the "doctor" pulled down his surgical mask. It was Glasure's son, Corey Hoffmaster, a U.S. Marine she hadn't seen in almost two years.

"I needed my spirits boosted,'' Glasure told TODAY.com. "It was once-in-a-lifetime thing for me. I never in a million years thought he would be coming back."

The heartwarming surprise on March 16 was captured on video by one of her other sons, Cody Glasure. He credited his three sisters for coming up with the idea for Hoffmaster to make a surprise visit in disguise. Hoffmaster, 24, is stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona and came home on leave.

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"He was pretty excited about it,'' Cody Glasure told TODAY.com. "The past few times he came home on leave, he didn't surprise her, so he was really excited to do a surprise this time."

"It was kind of funny because I thought it was another doctor and I was about to wig out,'' Mary Glasure said. "I was like, 'What do they want now?'''

The 59-year-old mom had been frequently asking Hoffmaster, who has been a Marine for four years, and when he would be able to get leave next because she wanted to tell him in person about her diagnosis. The cancer has also spread to her spine and left lung.

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"I tried a couple home remedies, but then I realized I'm going to have to face it and get chemo,'' she said. "I needed him home because he's my strength. Being in the Marines, he's the matter-of-fact, you've-got-to-do-this type."

She grew emotional again after seeing the video capturing the moment.

"I just bawled like a baby,'' she said. "I watch these videos with homecomings daily because the military is just my heart. I couldn't get enough. I think I watched it 15 times going, 'He's home!'''

Hoffmaster returned to Arizona from his leave on Monday.

"It's hard because with what I'm dealing with, you don't know if you will see them again,'' she said tearfully. "Things could go wrong, or the treatment might not go right for you. I see why God gave me these kids at times like this because they've all stepped up to the plate and given me a reason to fight all this.

"I've got to fight, and I'm gonna win. There's no debate on that issue."

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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