Liza Graves describes her father, Tracy, as a strong man. The former Tennessee women’s basketball player meant her description primarily in terms of muscle gained through hard work.
Tracy’s strength also has been reflected in his support. When Liza was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer 18 years ago, her father served as her transport service to and from the treatments. He also let the dogs out and mowed the lawn, etc. Anything his daughter needed, he did. His strength served as her strength.
Graves survived her battle with cancer. Her story will be chronicled in Wednesday’s editions of the News Sentinel and online at govolsxtra.com in conjunction with the start of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The Graves’ supporting roles are reversed now. Tracy, who’s 96 years old, has Alzheimer’s. Liza has been helping with the care-giving for years now and is determined to do everything in her power to keep him in his home.
“It’s not a problem; it’s not an effort,” she said. “Anytime I start to get frustrated, I think of all that he’s done for me, all the times he’s been there for me and all the times he drove me to my treatments.
“So it’s just love. It’s what you do for your parents.”