To say Anna Del Priore is an inspiration is like saying Michelangelo was slightly talented. Anna turns 108 next month. She still dances. She still cares about staying healthy. She swims. She sews. She’s still sharp enough to tell stories about her life. And what a life it’s been.

As the Asbury Park Press reports, Anna Del Priore resides at Brighton Gardens, an assisted living facility in Middletown, New Jersey. She was born in Brooklyn in 1912 to parents who were both deaf and taught sign language. That’s the same year the Titanic sank. Think about all the history she’s seen. 1912 was six years before Spanish flu hit. It didn’t spare her. The pandemic of a century ago that killed 675,000 Americans infected her too, and the six year old little girl fought back and beat it.

She grew up and became a seamstress. She fell in love with a man named Frank who was a professional tango dancer. They married. They had children. Their children had children. Anna’s granddaughter, 66 yr old Denise Jasmine, says she’s always loved music and still dances to this day. Which Brighton Gardens confirms.

Then, after a very long life well-lived, another pandemic hit. This time it was the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. She got it.

Granddaughter Darlene was quoted in the Asbury Park Press piece as saying, “I thought ‘Oh my God, this is it. This is the thing that’s going to take her down.”

Only it didn’t. She had a fever. She almost stopped eating entirely. But she was never hospitalized and never needed to be put on a ventilator. And, somehow, at 107 years old, she recovered. She’s now back to dancing, and sewing, and swimming.

Anna Priore has become one of only ten Americans 107 or older to have beaten COVID-19. How? Who knows. But if will has anything to do with it, she’s got plenty.

“You keep living,” says Anna. “Dancing makes you feel good. I want to keep my health.”

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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