Edna McCabe, born Edna Mae Dawson, celebrated her 110th birthday on Nov. 22, making her one of the rare “supercentenarians” in the world.
According to Boston Medical Center, “at any one time in the U.S. there may only be 100-1,000 (verified) supercentenarians alive.”
In 2015 the Gerontology Research Group (GRG) validated the longevity claims of only 782 American supercentenarians.
McCabe celebrated her birthday with friends and staff at Hamden Rehabilitation and Health Care, where she’s been a resident since January 2010.
“She was surrounded by cake, flowers, balloons and love,” said Leanne Coppola, who works at the facility.
Her roommate, Carole V., said, “I’m happy to celebrate this day with Edna, she’s one of the nicest (elderly) women I know.”
McCabe’s granddaughter, Jayne Gary, was available to share some details about her grandmother’s younger life.
“My grandmother was born in Guilford, where she attended grammar school and then boarding school before attending college,” she said. “She married my grandfather, Eugene L. McCabe and together they found success in business. Later my grandfather became one of the few black men to make it into local politics.”
McCabe’s has three children – Janice, Justine and Eugene – eight grandchildren, three great-grand children and five great-great-grandchildren.
“My grandmother is the best,” Gary said. “Everyone calls her ‘grandmommy’ and her quote has always been ‘we are a strong and proud family!’”
“I’m happy to have this day, to have (FaceTime) with my family and to have my cake,” McCabe said.
According to Thomas Perls, a professor of medicine and geriatrics at Boston University and director of the New England Centenarian Study at Boston Medical Center, it is estimated that only one in 1,000 centenarians reach 110 years old.
The percentage of women who reach 110 years old far outweigh that of men with a ratio of 85% to 15%.
As of November 18, 2020, the world’s oldest known living person, as verified by the Guinness World Records, is a woman from Fukuoka, Japan named Kane Tanaka who 117 years old and 321 days and was born in January 1903.
The oldest person to have ever lived, whose age was “verified” by Gerontology Research Group (GRG) was Jeanne Calment (1875-1997) of France who lived to the age of 122 years and 164 days.