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Family celebrates grandmother’s 100th birthday amid the outbreak

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    ALEDO, Ill. (WQAD) — Bank branch manager Dee Spivey is planning a drive-by 100th birthday party Wednesday for her grandmother Marion Keck outside the Brookstone Senior Living Center in Aledo.

It’s a day that she wishes she could be closer, like Marion’s 99th birthday exactly one year ago.

“You know, presents aren’t necessary when you’re 100 years old, or 99 years old.” Spivey said. “It’s people. It’s not presents, it’s not gifts, it’s moments. It’s all those little moments in time.”

But like many seniors, Marion has had to spend a lot of time feeling alone due to the pandemic.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, there is an outbreak at her facility with four positive cases. Spivey said she first got a call when a staff member tested positive.

“And then they called us again when they had the first resident that tested positive. And they said that they were going to be testing all of the residents,” Spivey said.

The Mercer County Health Department has reported 70 positive cases of COVID-19, and for the first time on Monday announced that three people have died of the illness. Two women and one man, all over the age of 80.

It’s a reminder to Spivey and her family that every day with their grandmother is a blessing. They want to make her feel special on her birthday.

“That she has family that love her so very much. And that we miss her. And that we do wish we could be with her on her special day,” Spivey said.

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