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Helene Byrne is years old, and one of the few with memories from the Great Fire ofthe Twin Falls Times-News reports; the Buhl resident celebrated her th birthday on Wednesday. When she was 15, another fire forced her family to move from the town of Harrison, on the edge of Lake Coeur d'Alene, to Kellogg. Few people living today likely carry memories of the Great Fire of But Byrne attained a milestone this week when she turned years old on Wednesday.
She'll celebrate the milestone with an open house Saturday afternoon at Evergreen Place Assisted Living in Buhl, where she's lived for the past year. But she's marking it in other ways as well, including ing a national study of such "supercentenarians.
The Boston University School of Medicine New England Supercentenarian Study is claimed to tbe the largest recruitment of people and older ever done. According to the study's website, there are probably between 70 and supercentenarians in the country.
The study has recruited 60 so far between the ages of and So far, Byrne has filled out a questionnaire and a history of her life was recorded along with her medical record. The next step is looking at her blood and comparing her DNA with other supercentenarians.
On a question about why she agreed to participate in the study, daughter Shirley Anderson said her mother wrote that she thought she might be able to help someone else. After graduating from Kellogg High School, Byrne left for Hagerman where she taught school for a year before she was married to her husband Lloyd.
After getting married inthe two settled in Lloyd's hometown of Buhl. Except for a few years in Salt Lake City and Boise, the couple and their eventual two daughters always returned to the Twin Falls County town.
It's not immediately clear how many supercentenarians have called the Magic Valley home, but Byrne's longevity is clearly rare. The College of Southern Idaho Office on Aging doesn't keep track of how many people over the age of it serves, said Shawna Wasko, public information and contracts manager. But she said several people older than have meals delivered to their home. Anderson said her mother was able to live at home until she was years old.
According to the supercentenarians study, it's not unusual for people who live to be older than to be independent until a very advanced age. Byrne's husband, Lloyd, lived until he was His brother lived to and their mother lived until she was Her parents died relatively young, Anderson said.
They both had high blood pressure. Byrne said she doesn't often dwell on the past, preferring to concentrate on the present. As for how Byrne has managed to live so long and stay so healthy? Wasko also noted the and-older age bracket is the fastest growing in the nation.
Posted Sept. By Betsy Z. Betsy Z. Russell ed The Spokesman-Review in She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital. Follow Betsy online: Twitter Newsletter.Elderly mature women of twin falls idaho
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