Those are the words junior infielder Jordan Wallace uses to describe her grandmother Fannie.
Fannie has been stricken with breast cancer twice in her life and the 83-year-old has beaten the disease on both occasions. Her first bout with breast cancer came before Jordan was born. After undergoing several treatments, she went into remission and appeared to be cancer free.
Unfortunately, several years later, the cancer returned and Fannie had to have one of her breasts removed. While undergoing exhaustive treatments to rid her body of the hazardous cells, she lost her husband, Earnest, of 52 years to the same ugly disease called cancer.
"It has been rough on her," Jordan said of her beloved grandmother. "She not only had to experience it all first-hand, but she had to experience losing a man she was married to for more than 50 years. Having to live with losing the love of your life and experiencing what she went through is extremely difficult.
"I look up to her," her proud granddaughter continued. "I can't even imagine how someone can go on in life and live the way that she does. She is always happy. She is always smiling. It takes a special person to deal with the hardships that she has had to deal with and still call me and find time to send me a card to let me know she is thinking about me. It breaks my heart to think that she has had to deal with something like that because she is such an amazing person."
Fannie has persevered through it all and is once again cancer free. Jordan will get to share her grandmother's story and a special moment with the woman she admires today at Levine-Fricke Field as the Bears host a StrikeOut Cancer event in conjunction with their game against No. 2 Arizona State at 3 p.m.
Fannie will receive the team ball and be in the circle to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to today's contest.
"It is very exciting," Jordan said. "She is really looking forward to it and has been practicing throwing a ball with my dad the last couple days."
Cal softball is hosting the event in partnership with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and the American Cancer Society. At that game, the Golden Bears will don pink hair ribbons and encourage all fans to wear pink. Those fans who wear pink will receive giveaways such as Silly Bandz and foam sticks.
In addition to collecting general fan donations, Cal softball will be selling pink hair ribbons as a fundraiser for the ACS.
"I know the team feels very strongly about it," Jordan said. "We have several girls on the team that have experienced cancer in their family, and this is something we wanted to do to help support the cause. By showing just a little bit of our respect and dedicating an event to this cause, this is a small way we can give back and show everyone how much this means to us."
Jordan, who is lobbying to catch that first pitch from her grandmother, will be joined by several members of her family at today's game, including her mother, father, brother, sister and two cousins.
"She is really excited for this," Jordan said. "Hopefully I don't tear up; I am not a big crier. It means a lot. I was skeptical to ask her at first because I wasn't sure she was going to want to do it. It is a lot for an older woman to throw a pitch for a sport she has never even played before. She didn't hesitate; she said I want to practice. I have to get my Cal gear on. I won't let you down. It is a really big deal to her. To see that she is excited makes me excited. It means a lot that she is able to do it."
Fannie attended the majority of Jordan's games when she was younger, but hasn't been able to make it out to her games more recently with her health issues. She makes a point to catch the Bears on television when they are on, and is always on the phone with her granddaughter after every game listening to the recap.
"She is the life of the party," Jordan said. "I love that woman so much and I would do anything for her. To see that she is so happy after so much that she has dealt with makes me want to be a better person. It makes me think about the little things and take advantage of little things like smiling, laughing and really caring about people. She means the world to me."
With Fannie on hand at Levine-Fricke Field today to show off her infectious smile and strong arm in the circle, we invite you to join her at the field and arrive early to cheer on this special woman and the Golden Bears as they do their part to strike out cancer.