Welcome Bloggers to Live to 100 and Beyond

We invite you to celebrate your favorite centenarian by submitting photos and short stories or bios. Please email to adler@ncap100s.org.

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"People have been fascinated by longevity ever since learning of Ponce de Leon’s search in Florida, five centuries ago, for the fountain of youth. In the twentieth century, the search for longevity, and the good health that makes it possible, had been enhanced by discoveries such as antibiotics and other lifesaving drugs, heroic medical interven­tions, which included organ transplants, heart pacemakers and other life-prolonging devices, the emergence of preventive medicine, and a new focus on wellness. On an individual level, people were realizing that, to an ever-increasing extent, they were able to influence life-style factors that could lead to a healthier and longer life—perhaps even a life of 100 years or more." (Opening paragraph from "Centenarians, The Bonus Years," by Lynn Peters Adler, Health Press, Santa Fe, NM, 1995)

Longevity itself is one of the greatest advances of the 20th century, adding approximately 30 years to the average life span. Now, in the 21st century, with the advent of even greater medical advances and the promise shown by stem cell and genetic breakthroughs, the chances for an even greater increase in longevity seems possible.

Active centenarians are our role models. They are helping to redefine aging in new and inspirational ways.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

“Unsung Hero” – WWI Vet, Andrew E. Rasch

The predominant themes to Andy Rasch’s long life are his service to his country, concern for others and his desire for independence. At age 107, he remarkably continues to maintain all three. Andy, pictured at left, shows memorabilia from his military service.

Andy and his sister were orphaned before the age of 5 and placed in an orphanage in the Midwest where they were abused and neglected, “horribly,” Andy recalls. The memories of those years and of his mother’s tragic death in a train accident bring tears to his eyes. At the age of 16, Andy ran away, promising his sister he would return for her as soon as he could. Andy joined the Navy and has the documentation to prove it. He served aboard the USS Oklahoma battleship (pictured below) during WWI, and he has an array of ribbons for bravery and a flag from that era.

“They didn’t give medals – they gave ribbons, he recalls.” He points out the heavy fabric of the flag and the predominant white stitching at the edges: “They don’t sew flags with this type of stitching anymore,” he explains. Andy’s story about his WWI service was broadcast by a local TV station in 2006. The station verified his service with the Veterans Administration. Andy continues, talking in more detail about how he went into a burning section of the ship and rescued four men: “I kept going back in and pulling them out,” he says, “there was fire all around.”

Andy's story continues on our website: http://www.adlercentenarians.org

To post a comment, please click on the "Comments" link, which follows, or send an email to adler@ncap100s.org.

1 comment:

  1. If Mr Rasch is a First World War veteran, and is not officially recognised (the only officially recognised living war veterans from WWI are Claude Choules and Florence Green), then it is a great shame and a disrespect to his honourable work. It would be great if those who knew him could get him recognised officially.


ABC Barbara Walters Special - Aging & Longevity

The ABC Barbara Walters Special on longevity aired in April of 2008. I was asked two years ago to participate in this project and it was a wonderful, exhilarating experience. It was both an honor and a privilege to work with Ms. Walters and the talented and caring team of professionals on her staff. I invite you to read the "Behind the Scene" story on our website. Here's the link: http://www.adlercentenarians.org/ABCWalters_special.htm
Posts & comments about the special and the participating centenarians follow. Please scroll down.