About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy
GOOD Worldwide Inc. publishing
© GOOD Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.

106-year-old's 'bucket list' wish to pat alpacas finally comes true: 'I love them'

'She has always been fascinated with aspects of wool and just decided she has never seen one and wanted to know all about them,' said Kelly.

106-year-old's 'bucket list' wish to pat alpacas finally comes true: 'I love them'
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Don Mason

A grandchild-grandparent relationship is incredibly beautiful. When grandchildren are younger, grandparents make sure to fulfill their little ones' every wish, and as they grow older, grandchildren go to great lengths to make the often neglected dreams of their grandmas and grandpas come true. That's what Kerry Miller did. Her grandmother, 106-year-old Elma Miller, had always wanted to meet an alpaca and Kerry finally made it happen this month.

Speaking to ABC News about making the centenarian's bucket list wish come true, Kerry said: "At 106, who can deny a wish? I just tried to make it happen." Elma has been an avid knitter all her life and was always intrigued by every aspect of it. "She has always been fascinated with aspects of wool and just decided she has never seen [an alpaca] and wanted to know all about them," Kerry said.


Since she didn't know where to look for an alpaca, Kerry turned to social media for help and soon got a response. "[These] wonderful ladies answered the [post]," she said. They informed her that they have a two-month alpaca and another that is nine months old.

Kerry then came from Victoria to meet up with her family and Elma's local community at Woolgoolga, New South Wales, to fulfill her grandmother's dream of meeting alpacas. Elma was shocked and overjoyed when she finally met an alpaca. "I love them. I'd like to take one home, but we're not allowed animals [in the nursing home]," she said. "They are such gentle creatures."

She added that at "106 and three quarters", it felt "strange" to be kissed by an alpaca. "I've never been kissed by an alpaca before," Elma said.

The experience was made even more memorable by a mini family reunion as Elma's kin gathered from near and far to witness her dream come true. This included her great-granddaughter Darcy Heffernan who described the whole experience as "pure happiness." She hadn't met Elma for three years due to the pandemic and because she'd moved up north [to Queensland] for university, Darcy explained. "This is something she has wanted to do for a long time," she said.

Meanwhile, Kerry said it was emotional to see her grandmother get excited about patting an alpaca for the first time. "It's great... and the community here is beautiful for supporting it," she said. "Everything has come together really well. She is not overwhelmed at all, as you can see, and it keeps her mind active. It'll give her something to talk about for months now."

Elma looks forward to living till at least 110. She will turn 107 in March and the family is yet to know what her wish list is for the upcoming birthday. 

According to a study conducted by Boston University's director Thomas Perls, genetics plays a huge role in whether someone becomes a centenarian. About 1 in every 5000 people in the United States is a centenarian and about 85 percent of them are women. According to BU Today, Perls shared that the four things that need to be taken care of to have a longer life are: managing stress, eating right, not smoking, and exercising regularly.

Despite genetics playing a key role, he said that to get to the age of 90, the deciding factors are roughly 30 percent genetics and 70 percent health behaviors. However, to reach 110, it's the opposite, with 30 percent of health behaviors and 70 percent of genetic traits coming into play.

More Stories on Scoop