Getting to your 100th birthday is a pretty tall task. Reaching that age after being diagnosed with breast cancer 31 years earlier? That’s an even more impressive feat.
Mobile, Alabama resident Jacqueline Rice celebrated her 100th birthday on Christmas Day. Her family helped her celebrate by putting on a drive-by Mardi Gras-themed parade. They wanted to mark the occasion but be sure to keep everyone safe in the process, with COVID-19 health guidelines being followed.
Rice’s grandson Elliot Hutchinson said, “With the pandemic that obviously threw us in for a loop, that was a little bit of a curve ball, but we thought what better way to do it than to honor the two things that she loves…all of her friends and family and then also a parade.”
The newly-minted centenarian got to enjoy a live band and a line of cars greeting her and blowing kisses. After that, there was a toast in the front yard with family, who sang her a chorus of “Happy Birthday.”
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Rice was happy to be honored in such a way.
She said, “Oh, it makes me feel fantastic that I get to be the queen for today, I wanna be the queen every day… I just feel so wonderful, I feel so good and thank God for waking me up to another day and making me get to 100.”
Rice weighed in at just two pounds when she was born and wasn’t expected to survive. Add on a breast cancer diagnosis when she was in her late 60s, and she’s defied the odds to live such a long life. She says it’s her faith that keeps her going.
To those hoping to reach her age, she says, “I would tell them to keep praying and have that faith in God and whatever problems or trials they are going through, they’ll make it because he will see you through.”
Rice will receive another special drive-by parade in Mobile on January 9th.