Woman Celebrates 90th Birthday, 57 Years After Cancer Diagnosis

By WTAJ News

Published 04/25 2014 08:25AM

Updated 04/25 2014 08:40AM

HOLLIDAYSBURG, BLAIR COUNTY - Carol Stevens from Hollidaysburg is marking two major milestones.

She's turning 90 on Friday and she's also celebrating her status as one of the longest-surviving breast cancer patients in the country.

In a touching coincidence, 57-year- breast cancer survivor Carol Stevens gets flowers delivered by two year leukemia survivor Tisa Stonerook.

The two women share their stories, with Carol wishing Tisa many more years as a survivor.

Carol's devastating diagnosis came back in 1957.

A surgeon removed her right breast, a significant area around it, and her ovaries.

The doctor gave her five years to live.

Stevens said, "He told me not to get tired and to go out every two weeks get a babysitter that was all remember... this was 57 years ago ."

She didn't receive  any other treatment for the cancer.

But she beat the five year prediction  by a mile.

Quite possible it's due to healthy living.

" I grew up in the south and even though we had grits and all that kind of stuff, I always had a lot of vegetables and a lot of good food," Stevens said.

Carol had always enjoyed an active life, and her cancer diagnosis didn't change that.

"I had 4 children I loved and a husband who was very supportive and so I was busy, you can imagine."

A book lover, Carol earned a masters degree in education after raising her children and became a supervisor of language arts in both Hollidaysburg and Altoona School Districts.

She worked until she was 69.
In recent years, travel's been one of her passions.

She's gone on safari in Africa and taken a zodiac around icebergs in Alaska.

In between trips she stays in shape, riding a stationary bike  in her bedroom.

She said, "what you do is live the days that are good and enjoy them the ones that are bad you throw over your shoulder and leave behind you."

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