Brit great-grandma beats cancer 5 times to celebrate 100th birthday

Friday, January 21, 2011

LONDON - A feisty great-grandmother in the UK has beaten cancer five times and is still going strong. She celebrated her 100th birthday recently.

Ellen McDonald had endured several operations in her lifetime, including the one in 1963 where she was read her last rites, as it was believed she would not survive, reports the Daily Mail.

McDonald from Leeds was born in 1911, the same year when King George V was crowned and when the first motorcar was made in the UK.

Her health issues began when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in the early 1950s, and underwent a double mastectomy.

A few years later, she was diagnosed with cancer of the gall bladder, which required removal of the organ.

After battling the spread of this cancer with further operation, she was then diagnosed with cancer of the bowel in 1963. As she underwent the operation to remove this tumour, a priest was called as doctors thought she would not pull through.

“I can remember a priest was in the room standing over me and he was reading passages from the Bible and there was somebody else there who was crying,” said McDonald.

“But I told them I am a fighter and I managed to pull through. I made it through because of my fighting spirit and the skill of the surgeons who performed the operations to remove the areas where the cancer had struck,” she said.

“I’ve had a double mastectomy, a hysterectomy from my fifth bout, I’ve had my gallbladder removed and I survived bowel cancer,” she added.

Apart from the critical health scares of half-a-century ago, McDonald insisted that she remains in good health.

“I’ve had it tough with the old cancer, five times it has tried to take me in total but I’ve managed to fight it off,” she said.

The former wartime crane driver, who lives in sheltered accommodation now after losing her husband Jim 18 years ago, attributes her long life to plain old hard work plus the occasional glass of wine.

The centenarian married husband Jim in 1933 and they spent a happy life together raising their five sons. They became great-grandparents of six and grandparents of eight.

Sadly, Jim passed away just three weeks before their diamond-wedding anniversary. (ANI)

Filed under: Cancer, World

will not be displayed