October 19, 2021

97-Year-Old Grandmother Beats Cancer to Attend Her Grandson's Wedding

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Tennie Burkett Ivy loves to dance, and she wasn't about to let a pesky disease stop her from swaying to her grandson's glorious wedding music. 

At 97 years old, Tennie Burkett Ivy credits her longevity to keeping healthy, at least for most of the time. The grandmother walks to stay fit in her old age and is currently strutting at a mile a day. 

However, Ivy's health took a turn for the worst last year in November 2020. She was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. 

Tennie Burkett Ivy. | Source: youtube.comKPRC 2 Click2Houston



Having lived a long and fulfilled life and understanding the adverse effects of cancer treatment, Ivy was erring on the side of letting the disease take its natural course. Her daughter Elaine recounted the experience, standing by while her mother had to make a hellish decision, stating

“It was ultimately her decision. It was her life, but we of course wanted her to fight and be here with us longer.”

Eventually, upon hearing from medical professionals what she may go through if she did not partake in treatment, Ivy chose to fight. After 30 radiation treatments, 7 rounds of chemotherapy, a mastectomy, and blood transfusion, this strong woman managed to beat the malignancy. 



Ivy credits the care of the hospital staff, her faith, and her family's support as factors in her recovery. Beyond that, a big motivation for the 97-year-old was to get better so that she could attend her grandson Andrew's wedding, which would be the last of her grandchildren's. Ivy expressed


“I had to go to that wedding. I had been to all three and it was in Greenville, South Carolina, and I said I’ve got to get well for that."

Due to COVID-19, Andrew's official nuptials were delayed, leaving Ivy anxious about whether she would be able to attend. Fortunately, due to beating cancer, she found herself dancing happily at the groom's ceremony.

Tennie Burkett Ivy dancing with her grandson Andrew at his wedding. | Source: youtube.comKPRC 2 Click2Houston



Speaking about his grandmother's attendance, Andrew revealed that it meant everything to him that she could be there. The newly married man said

“It was the happiest day of my life... because I was getting married, but ...more so because I knew what she went through to be there.”

Ivy's apparent wisdom that she has collected over the years is simple: go for walks, try to stay healthy, always dance at weddings no matter your age, and lastly, remember that your love for others can be a tremendous impetus for grabbing onto what may seem unreachable. 


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