90-Year-Old Woman Forgoes Cancer Treatment To See Country With ‘Granddog,’ Last Of Her Family

The Driving Miss Norma adventure comes with lots of photos and plenty of smiles.

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Seeing the country via RV is how Ringo and his “grandma” Miss Norma have spent the last six months or so. Via Driving Miss Norma/Facebook
Seeing the country via RV is how Ringo and his “grandma” Miss Norma have spent the last six months or so. Via Driving Miss Norma/Facebook

Road trips are the adventures from which memories are made. And the best kind includes family — both the human and four-legged kind.

When, within three days last summer, Norma Bauerschmidt was diagnosed with uterine cancer and lost her husband of 67 years, she made an end-of-life decision to see the country in her son Tim’s RV instead of seeking treatment. And since her only son and family member lives in the RV with his wife, Ramie, and their furry “son,” Ringo the dog, the trio became a quartet and Bauerschmidt’s Golden Years trek began.

The group left Northern Michigan about six months ago and have seen more than the average vacationer. From the Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks in Wyoming to Roswell, New Mexico, and Arizona’s Grand Canyon — to name only a few stops — Ringo has done his part to make sure his “grandma” enjoys what may certainly become the time of her life.

Follow along with their journey on the Facebook page Driving Miss Norma. Here are some highlights from the trip so far:

1. Roswell, New Mexico

They believe!

2. Vidalia, Louisiana

Miss Norma and Ringo four-wheeling on their way to the riverwalk.

3. Beaufort, South Carolina

Miss Norma, Tim and Ringo take a break from the motor home in Downtown Beaufort.

4. Savannah, Georgia

Taking in the scenery at the Historic Savannah Carriage Tours.

5. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

A moment of silence for one of the world’s best known natural wonders.

6. Mitchell, South Dakota

Here, corn is king.

7. Loveland, Colorado

Just doing a little grazing with some new friends at Benson Sculpture Garden.

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Comments

  • What a beautiful journey Norma and Ringo had and I’m sure the rest of the family enjoyed it too! This is a wonderful story!

    Sharon April 13, 2016 12:14 am Reply
    • I agree!! God bless them all!!!

      Rosanne Brophy April 13, 2016 8:41 am Reply
  • She is a brave and adventurous lady with a wonderful family, including Ringo. Look at the amazing places they went!

    Sue April 13, 2016 1:14 am Reply
  • Bless them all. What a way to go! So many wonderful memories to leave behind and what a son to make her last days so happy. The “granddoggie” is just beautiful and nothing makes you so serene as a loving pet.

    After looking at these great pictures, I am working on my own bucket list……..

    Jennifer Dietrichson April 13, 2016 1:21 am Reply
    • Well said, Jennifer! Beautiful family, all 4 of these lovely souls!! I wouldn’t want to go through those treatments either, even at a much younger age. I wish all of them much happiness!

      Heather April 13, 2016 8:21 am Reply
      • I agree totally with her. At 90 why go through all that pain.
        Go with your dog and see wonderful places.
        I am 83 and would do the same thing.

        Heather Thomson-Stewart April 13, 2016 1:52 pm Reply
  • This is a beautiful story and spending what little time she has left to see the beauty of the world with her wonderful family.

    Patricia Poole April 13, 2016 1:46 am Reply
  • God Bless Nora, Ringo, and family as they adventure across the country. What a wonderful decision by a brave woman. Enjoy life with those you love creates lasting memories and fulfills dreams. God Bless all of you! May your travels continue!

    Sheila Miller April 13, 2016 2:03 am Reply
  • Simply awe inspiring! You chose the right path and it shows. What a beautiful companion to enjoy these beautiful destinations with. You are wise and very very blessed. I wish you the best in your future journeys.
    May the good Lord bless all of you!

    Nanc April 13, 2016 2:05 am Reply
  • I WOULD HAVE CHOOSE THE SAME , I,VE ALWAYS SAID THAT DOGS ARE JUST MY CHILDREN , AND THATS AS CLOSE TO GOD YOU,LL EVER GET ON THIS EARTH, I,M HAPPY SHE WENT WITH THE ONLY ONE THAT UNDERSTOOD AND CARED FOR HER AS MUCH AS GOD DO,S SHE WAS IN THE GREATEST HANDS GOD COULD PUT HER , WHAT A WONDERFUL WAY TO SPENT THE REMAINDER OF HER LIFE ,WITH HER BEST FRIEND BY HER SIDE , GOD BLESS AND KEEP THEM TOGETHER AMEN

    JACKIE COULTER April 13, 2016 2:08 am Reply
  • This so wonderful and inspiring. The love her family has for her to honor her decision to forgo treatment and travel with her making the best memories . God bless you all.

    Christine Borer April 13, 2016 2:50 am Reply
  • Nora, I love your spunk and attitude. Have a spectacular trip with your wonderful two legged and four legged family. Your journey is inspiring so many. God Bless you and your traveling companions

    Janet April 13, 2016 3:03 am Reply
  • What an inspiring story. Bravo to Nora and her family for making the decision to enjoy life with those you love. The pictures are wonderful memory of the great traveling the family has done. Good luck Nora.

    Janet R. April 13, 2016 3:14 am Reply
  • What an inspiring story!!!
    What wonderful courage. And
    What an amazing lady!!!

    Jill April 13, 2016 3:45 am Reply
  • What a wonderful story! The pictures are beautiful!

    Yvette April 13, 2016 4:08 am Reply
  • You are both beautiful! I am inspired and amazed. I don’t know you but I love you and will be sending you best wishes and prayers.

    teressa parker April 13, 2016 4:12 am Reply
  • You made the best choice. Kudos for your bravery and wonderful son. And to have a dog on the trip of your life just makes it all the better. Enjoy your trip. I’m glad you realized ya gotta believe! Way to go–you all take care. You are smelling the roses.
    Marlene

    Marlene April 13, 2016 4:27 am Reply
  • Beautiful journey. God Bless you and Ringo. Life is a journey enjoy it while you can.

    Michele April 13, 2016 4:28 am Reply
  • A wonderful way to spend precious time with those you love!

    Linda April 13, 2016 4:31 am Reply
  • God bless you all! I love how you all got a chance to be together in traveling around the USA including the dog! What wonderful memories you will have forever!

    Carol Decker April 13, 2016 4:31 am Reply
  • You go Miss Nora! Enjoy every minute.

    Cindy April 13, 2016 4:54 am Reply
  • What a hero Miss Nora is! A beautiful story. And I don’t blame her one bit. I thought at 42 I would have to make this same decision but, I was blessed with benign tumors. Prayers for all of them!

    Beverly April 13, 2016 5:01 am Reply
  • Thank you for sharing this incredibly inspirational story!

    Terry Brown April 13, 2016 5:09 am Reply
  • I wish her the best in whatever time she has left and I applaud her family for supporting her.

    beth April 13, 2016 5:35 am Reply
  • what a beautiful story and reminder that we all control our own lives in the choices we make and who we chose to share it with, especially when we share it with a furry friend. Live Love Laugh Miss Nora and Ringo and to her family for helping her live her way!

    Daria April 13, 2016 5:39 am Reply
  • You and your family (granddoggie included of course) are amazing! Bless you and your family for focusing on what really matters, being together and love. I pray I do half as well raising my son as you have your’s. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your granddoggie, and your son

    Vernell Smith April 13, 2016 5:40 am Reply
  • Just wonderful! What a gesture from such a loving son. I’m so happy that Miss Nora is able to see our beautiful country and enjoy the company of precious Ringo. God bless you all.

    J. C. April 13, 2016 5:43 am Reply
  • Amazing and truly inspiring story

    Marta April 13, 2016 5:46 am Reply
  • Best choice ever ! I have always thought dog “slobber” was better medicine than anyone could put in a bottle or IV ! Make sure you don’t miss a dose !
    Happy trails.

    Leslie Hunt April 13, 2016 6:13 am Reply
  • Miss Nora is so blessed to have a loving family to take her on a wonderful trip. Ringo is good medicine for her. Happy that Miss Nora lives life her way.

    Marilyn April 13, 2016 6:26 am Reply
  • You inspire me – what an amazing adventure – you and your wonderful family are in my prayers – may this road trip go on for years. Big Hug to you all.

    Diane Rea April 13, 2016 6:34 am Reply
  • Inspiring. Godspeed.

    IRENE DE CARDENAS April 13, 2016 6:55 am Reply
  • Nora, I hope you and Ringo log on many more miles to come. Go for it!

    Nancy Valente April 13, 2016 7:00 am Reply
  • Miss Nora may God bless you and your family with days filled with love and laughter . . . just traveling along, singing a song, side by side. Love and prayers,

    Cora Ann April 13, 2016 7:22 am Reply
  • God Bless you Ms. Nora, your family and Ringo. I hope that you continue to enjoy your journey, and live life out the way all of us would like to be able to do. My prayers are with you.

    Diane Lynn April 13, 2016 7:28 am Reply
  • HOW SWEET IT IS!!

    Jaz April 13, 2016 7:43 am Reply
  • She is very wise, I would it done the same. Why putting yourself thru chemo and getting ill from it when you can live out the rest of your life and enjoy the life you have left with your granddog.

    Luz April 13, 2016 7:45 am Reply
  • This family who is living in the minute is one of my favorite kind of people. God bless you all.

    Ruby April 13, 2016 7:49 am Reply
  • You are a true inspiration!!!!

    Ginny April 13, 2016 7:51 am Reply
  • totally agree – why not enjoy the last few weeks or years instead of being sick each and everyday, this is exactly what I will be doing – seeing all that I have missed in my life before my life is gone…wonderful family and beautiful four legged companion…

    Nancy Sammons April 13, 2016 7:56 am Reply
  • I would do the same thing!

    Lisa Martinez April 13, 2016 7:58 am Reply
  • Wonderful,beautiful inspiring story of a grand lady living out her days with those she loves the most and spending precious times with all of them including beautiful Ringo. God bless you all.

    Diana April 13, 2016 8:08 am Reply
  • Please tell them about The Truth About Cancer.com — very enlightening. She may even benefit significantly from the knowledge & therapy, & live a much longer, happier life with her family & loving pooch Ringo. Get onto the website; airings are happening now.

    E. April 13, 2016 8:16 am Reply
  • You go, Grandma! I’m with you all the way! You know how to LIVE!

    Ostara April 13, 2016 8:22 am Reply
  • Amen to every comment!!
    Love and Blessings to Miss Nora and Ringo

    Anne April 13, 2016 8:31 am Reply
  • You GO!! You’re all a beautiful inspiration. I only wish I’d known when you were at the Grand Canyon. I would have driven up, given you a hug, said thank you for your strength and love of life and adventure and wished you safe travels. God speed and thank you for sharing.

    A Rowe April 13, 2016 8:44 am Reply
  • You’re calling her by the wrong name. She’s Norma, not Nora!

    kait April 13, 2016 8:45 am Reply
  • How cooool is that???? Very cool, that’s how coooool……………….Smiling here in California for you Nora and your grand-dog….Tim and Ramie,. you guys are awesome for doing this for Nora.

    May God be with you on your journey and bless all of you.

    Kathy April 13, 2016 8:45 am Reply
  • What a wonderful way to spend your remaining time on earth! God Bless you all!

    Kim April 13, 2016 8:53 am Reply
  • Way to go! Did that years ago , one of the best trips ever.

    Tinker April 13, 2016 9:34 am Reply
  • Thank you so much Ms. Nora, Tim, Ramie, Ringo and Free Kibble for sharing this amazing and beautiful journey! I don’t know you but I love you all and I wish you all the best!

    Trina April 13, 2016 9:43 am Reply
  • May your journey be filled with joy and love.

    Carolyn April 13, 2016 10:03 am Reply
  • What a wonderful, inspirational story! I love you Miss Nora! I would choose the same thing, furry and human family over anything else any day! What wonderful memories you all will have…and that is such a wonderful gift! God Bless you and all of your family!! Enjoy every minute together!!

    Terryann April 13, 2016 10:03 am Reply
  • Bless Nora and Ringo, they are great companions who together are enjoying life and each other…..what a journey!

    ScarletDove April 13, 2016 10:09 am Reply
  • What a uplifting story of pride and strength to do your thing . I know , Nora that Ringo enjoyed the trip as much as you loved sharing .And thank you for sharing with us .Bless your heart 😉

    MARYLOU April 13, 2016 10:40 am Reply
  • Such spirit! Go girl! Wonderful dog, wonderful family.

    michele April 13, 2016 10:58 am Reply
  • God Bless You All…….. Nora and Ringo, this may be a ‘new begining’ for you Nora…. very insperational. God Bless your Son and Daughter-in-law, for they have been ‘blessed’ as well. Also, you have my deepest sympathy over the loss of your husband Nora. 67 years is a very long time… God again truly has blessed you. I lost my Wife of 33 years to Pancreatic Cancer in 2006…. I didn’t want to live. But thanks to caring people that understand, like all those that posted here, and of course you Nora, I went to ‘live’ bearevmenet group and also ‘online’ groups that understand. Thanks to God I am now remarried and starting a new life with a woman that lost her husband to cancer as well. It’s an awesome story and believe me I wasn’t looking and swore I would never re-marry… But God had other plans. I love you all and just want to say “thank you God for the Internet and for all the Good it does in bringing people together to share their stories and love”. I would never had met my present Wife, nor know about this all too enspiring story about you Nora, and Ringo too! Again, GOD BLESS YOU ALL! Thanks for sharing.

    BOB April 13, 2016 11:50 am Reply
  • God Bless you all! Nora and Ringo this is such a brave thing for you do do and I commend you! Live YOUR life! Way to go!!!

    Hugs,

    Nola April 13, 2016 12:38 pm Reply
  • Such a Wonderful and Wise decision, having driven from Massachusetts to California and back a few times since the 70’s I can honestly say that it’s an experience you’ll never forget or Regret , everyone who lives in this great country should try it at least once in their lifetime.. I am currently recovering from Chemo, radiation and Surgery due to Esophageal cancer and I can tell you that had my prognosis been Terminal my decision would have been much different than what I chose ~ l would have packed my bags and hit the road…one more time !!! You are my Hero Ms Nora , your courage and strength are so admirable – I truly believe this adventure will give you more time on this Earth because you have a goal to reach, a goal that doesn’t include stress or worry or the horribly sick after effects of enduring Chemo and Radiation therapy …… I wish you all the best and hope that the Love and support of Family – Friends and a 4-legged Beauty keep you healthy and strong ! :-):-)

    Cindy Cozzens April 13, 2016 12:41 pm Reply
  • I think it has all been said about the beautiful, positive effects of your choices and journey. Just in case it was missed, you must be a wonderful mother-in-law Nora to have such a loving relationship with Ramie and Ringo is providing unconditional love and understanding. May you have many more miles left to travel.

    Renee April 13, 2016 1:30 pm Reply
  • What a brave, courageous, determined and awe inspiring woman you are Miss Nora. You live your live in your terms and to the fullest. May you enjoy each and every sunset, sunrise, breath of air and love of your family and of course Ringo.

    H Ollon April 13, 2016 1:41 pm Reply
  • Ms. Nora: YOU ARE A CREDIT TO ALL US SENIORS! All I can say is KEEP ON A TRUCKIN’! If you haven’t already done so, SOMEBODY needs to write your story into a book. You have acquired the wisdom of the ages and a book would be a way to share it… All you writers out there: A best seller is waiting to be written!

    JoAnne Klein April 13, 2016 1:49 pm Reply
  • I have had breast cancer op and have decided the treatment is worse than the problem. At 70 years I have decided not to do the chemo, etc and to enjoy my animals and my lifestyle on my little bit of rural land.

    Carol April 13, 2016 2:44 pm Reply
  • Dear Nora and Ringo: Praying that you had the best day EVER!!! You are Much Loved by All of Us and by God especially.
    Much Love, Many Hugs and Countless Prayers—
    Elizabeth

    Elizabeth April 13, 2016 2:52 pm Reply
  • OOPS!!! I spelled your name incorrectly and that will just not do… NORMA is a beautiful name and deserves to be spelled properly every time…

    Sincerely,
    Elizabeth

    (You can say it incorrectly if you want)…

    Elizabeth April 13, 2016 2:55 pm Reply
  • What a wonderful story Norma and Ringo. God bless all of you s on your travels !!! Very inspiring thing to do. Safe home.

    RHONDA April 13, 2016 3:15 pm Reply
  • This is a beautiful woman and family. She is with the people she loves both 2 legged and four legged. She is exploring the world and m egg movies ell last forever.
    God bless you all.

    Catherine Sullivan April 13, 2016 3:54 pm Reply
  • Miss Norma, you are awesome! You’ve chosen a path of life, rather then waiting for the end. I hope you have many more happy miles left, with Ringo, and Tim and Ramie <3 Our prayers to you all.
    Happy Trails 😉

    KatWrangler April 13, 2016 4:03 pm Reply
  • I hope they are still traveling. Would love to read more.

    Susan De Antonio April 13, 2016 7:46 pm Reply
  • God bless you Norma and Ringo. My standard poodle Maia looks just like Ringo. She is also calm and beautiful and helps me because I am disabled. What a wonderful journey you are having. Wish we could have one too, but start from Kalamazoo, MI.

    Karen Marie Staton April 13, 2016 9:40 pm Reply
  • Thank you so much Ms. Nora, Tim, Ramie and Ringo. You are all such an inspiration. Wish you all the best on your wonderful journey.

    Chris Saranchuk April 13, 2016 10:19 pm Reply

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