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Plum stroke survivor named Pennsylvania's 'Senior Hero'

| Thursday, June 13, 2013, 11:55 a.m.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Darnell Pope, 73, of Plum was named Pennsylvania’s outstanding senior volunteer as part of the Salute to Senior Service program. Pope, a stroke survivor, is being honored for his work at Plum Senior Community Center on Wednesday, June 12, 2013.

When Darnell “Jeff” Pope of Plum came home after suffering a stroke in 2006, he said he was beaten.

“I thought everyone was staring at me. People don't know how long I sat in my wheelchair, staring out the window,” he said.

But after joining the Plum Community Senior Center's stroke support group, Pope, 73, found his footing, eventually taking over the group in 2010.

Home Instead recognized Pope on Wednesday as its Pennsylvania Senior Hero, winning an online voting contest after he was nominated as part of the group's annual “Salute to Senior Service,” which honors volunteers 65 and older.

Pope will now be among the candidates for the Home Instead's National Senior Hero award, which will be determined by a panel of senior care experts.

Pope said the stroke support group he now leads “gives me a reason to get up in the morning — it's my calling.”

The Home Instead National Senior Hero will be announced at the end of June.

Home Instead is a provider of nonmedical, in-home care services for senior citizens. The company has local offices in Monroeville and Oakmont.

Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or pvarine@tribweb.com.

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