Thanks to sheer force of will, Tennie Burkett Ivy can now say that she has attended all four of her grandchildren’s weddings. Getting there wasn’t easy.
The Houston, Texas, grandmother is 97 years old. She still walks a mile every day, and she considers herself to be relatively healthy. She was excited to attend her final grandchild’s wedding, but then she was diagnosed with cancer.
It was the peak of the novel coronavirus pandemic in November 2020 when Tennie got her breast cancer diagnosis. She started treatment right away, and she believes it was her determination to attend the wedding in South Carolina that gave her the strength to go through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
“I had to go to that wedding,” she explained. “I had been to all three and it was in Greenville, South Carolina, and I said I’ve got to get well for that. And I was never sick. No problems.”
Tennie may as well be short for “tenacious,” because not long after, she had beaten her cancer and was officially in remission! This October, she celebrated her victory with her family at the wedding she’d set her sights on months earlier.
“I give credit to the doctors, nurses, and the Lord,” she said.
The wedding was delayed due to COVID, which worked out perfectly for Tennie’s treatment schedule. Everything just came together at the end, and now she hopes her story will remind other people in their 90s that they’re never too old to fight cancer.
After all, how could she miss the opportunity to dance to her favorite song at her grandson’s wedding? Some things in life are worth fighting for, and being part of a family celebration is definitely one of them!
Tennie has already recovered and is back to walking a mile a day. She and her family members will always cherish the photos and memories of that special day, especially because Tennie worked so hard to make it happen.
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