The body of a supercentenarian expands science’s appreciation for the physiological limits of aging.
This article was Published in The Scientist:
Two interviewers chatted with the now 113-year-old van Andel-Schipper back in 2003. The interview was also repeated at age 111 (neuroscientist Gert Holstege) and again at 113. She was amazing with memories going back to the details of a soccer game in 1898 when she predicted that her favorite soccer team was not going to be successful and she was right.
“She knew exactly what was going on in politics, in sports,” recalls Holstege”… “She could explain … exactly what happened in 1898 when Wilhelmina became queen [of the Netherlands].” She remembered the details of the parties she’d gone to with Dutch soldiers as WW1 began in 1914. “She was completely alert.” She died at age 115.
I (Rassman) had a great grandmother who lived to 114 years of age and I remember her well. Like Andel-Schipper, her brain functioned reasonably well, but unlike her, she was not in a nursing home. She lived with her daughter (my grandmother). Every Sunday, the family would get together with her. She was born before Lincoln became president and was alive when I went to medical school. She gave me the following advice. “Marry a rich woman until you get established and she puts you on your feet. Then get a divorce and marry for love the second time.” It could be modern day advice for many of our peers.