When a grandmother’s love is stronger than cancer

Listen 4:36
Mattie Daniel and Savannah Mann

Mattie Daniel (right) and her granddaughter Savannah Mann browse through family photographs. (Jeanette Woods/WHYY)

StoryCorps, the popular NPR feature, is sponsoring “The Great Thanksgiving Listen,” inviting young people to interview their elders, using an app to record their own stories. Over Thanksgiving weekend, high school students from across the United States are creating personal oral histories by recording interviews with older friends and family members, and WHYY is featuring one of those local conversations.

Mattie Daniel, 82, of West Philadelphia, and her granddaughter Savannah Manns, a senior at Science Leadership Academy, have a special relationship. Manns’ mother died when she was 8 years old, and her grandmother played an important role in her life. But Daniels credits her granddaughter for giving her the strength to fight and survive breast cancer.

On the day of her last chemotherapy treatment, Daniel walked from the oncology department of the hospital to the maternity ward and met her newest granddaughter, Savannah.

Daniel says it was one of the happiest days of her life.

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