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There are milestones and then there is Dorothy Hartman. Today is her 107th birthday and she celebrated in style with family and friends at her home in Caressant Care Listowel Nursing Home.

This has been her home for the past 10 years and three months.

Last March, when she celebrated her 106th birthday, the Southwestern Ontario Newspaper featured her story. Here is an excerpt from March 2018:

Dorothy was born on the family farm in Howick in 1912, the third youngest of nine children. In 1935 she married Roy Hartman. Together they worked a farm in Gowanstown and raised three children; Joyce Baranski of Guelph, Ron Hartman of Listowel, and Marlene Hutchison of Ottawa. Dorothy has nine grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.

It was this story that caught the attention of The New England Centenarian Study based out of Boston's University Medical Center who wrote to Dorothy asking if they could do a study on her.

In a personal letter addressed to Dorothy, the Director of the Study said they had come across her story and knew they had to reach out to her. The Study aims to understand why some people are able to live such extraordinary long lives by speaking with people, like Dorothy, who are over the age of 105.

Dorothy and her family have consented to participate in the Study that also hopes to unlock the genetic code that helps people live longer lives and to better understand the biology of aging. It is hoped that this information could lead to the development of strategies and treatments that could one day help people delay or even escape age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and stroke.

There is much for Dorothy, and the rest of us, to celebrate.

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