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Jimmy Carter’s grandson "He will be 99 in October"

After three months Access to end-of-life care at home, former President Jimmy Carter remains in good spirits as he visits family, follows public discussions about his legacy and receives updates on the Carter Center’s humanitarian work around the world, his grandson said. He even enjoys regular servings of ice cream.

“They’re visiting family now, but they’re doing it in the best way possible: the two of them at home together,” Jason Carter said of Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, now 98 and 95.

“They’ve been together 70-plus years. They also know they’re not in charge,” the younger Carter said in a brief interview Tuesday. “Their faith is really grounded at this point. That way, it’s as good as it gets.”

The longest-living US president, Jimmy Carter, announced in February that after a few brief hospital stays, he would forego further medical intervention and spend the rest of his life in the same modest, one-story home on the Plains where they lived. Elected to first state senate in 1962.

Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter campaign with Jason Carter in Columbus

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate and state Sen. Jason Carter (C) arrives at a campaign event at Immanuel Christian Community Church on October 27, 2014 in Columbus, Georgia with his grandparents, former US President Jimmy Carter (R) and former first lady Rosalynn Carter.

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

President Joe Biden said in March Carter asked him to compliment her. While Carter said he would enter hospice care without an ailment, Mr. Biden said he had “spent time” with Carter and said the cancer had “finally caught up with him.”

Carter had a small cancerous mass removed from her liver in 2015, and a year later, she announced that she no longer needed treatment because an experimental drug had eliminated any signs of cancer.

The hospice care announcement drew ongoing tributes and media attention to her 1977-81 presidency, and the couple’s global humanitarian work since co-founding the Carter Center in 1982 with Carter. Work with Habitat for Humanity.

“It’s been one of the blessings of the last few months,” Jason Carter, a former state senator and 2014 Democratic nominee for governor, said Tuesday after speaking at a ceremony honoring his grandfather. “He can definitely see the outpouring and that’s definitely satisfying for him.”

The former president also received an update on the Carter Center’s Guinea worm eradication program, which began in the mid-1980s when millions of people were suffering from the parasite spread by unclean drinking water. Last year, there were fewer than two dozen cases worldwide.

And in less serious moments, he continued to enjoy peanut butter ice cream, his favorite flavor, in keeping with his political brand as a peanut farmer, his grandson said.

Andrew Young, who served as Carter’s ambassador to the United Nations, told the AP that he also saw Carter “a few weeks ago” and was “so glad we can laugh about old times and make jokes.”

Young and Jason Carter joined other friends and admirers in a celebration of the former president along Jimmy Carter Boulevard in suburban Norcross, just northeast of Atlanta, on Tuesday. In one of America’s most racially and ethnically diverse suburban areas — reflecting the former president’s larger legacy as a person who pursued peace, conflict resolution and racial equality, Young said.

When a nearly 10-mile stretch of highway in Gwinnett County was named in 1976 — the year he was elected president — small towns and bedroom communities on the edge of metropolitan Atlanta were just beginning to boom. Now, Gwinnett alone has a population of nearly 1 million people, and Jimmy Carter Boulevard is thriving, with many businesses owned by black owners, immigrants or first-generation Americans.

Young, a top aide to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement, said Carter started out as a white politician from South Georgia during the days of Jim Crow segregation, but he proved his values ​​were different.

As governor and president, Carter believed that “the world could come to Georgia and show everybody how to live together,” Young said.

Now, Georgia “looks like the whole world,” Young, 91, said.

Nicole Love Hendrickson, elected as the first black chair of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners in 2020, praised Carter as “a man of exceptional respect for the humanity of others.”

Pointing to Carter’s landslide re-election defeat, Young said he personally sought out the success stories of historians and others as they reassessed Carter’s presidency — handing over control of the Panama Canal, creating a national energy strategy, engaging more in Africa than any U.S. president. . Such achievements were either unpopular at the time or were overshadowed by Carter’s inability to control inflation, the energy crisis, or release American hostages in Iran before the 1980 election.

“I told him, ‘You know, it took them over 50 years to appreciate President Lincoln. It might take that long to appreciate you,’ ” Young said.

“Nobody was thinking about the Panama Canal. Nobody was thinking about bringing Egypt and Israel together. I mean, I was thinking about trying to do something in Africa, but there was nobody else in Washington, and he did. He always had an idea. About everything.”

Still, when Jason Carter addressed his grandparents’ fans on Tuesday, he argued against thinking of them as global celebrities.

“They’re just like all of your grandparents — I mean, your grandparents are rednecks from South Georgia,” she said with a laugh. “If you go there today, they have a little rack next to their sink where they dry ziplock bags.”

Most notably, Jason Carter said, such a rally took place while his grandfather was still alive.

“We thought it was very close to the end when he went into hospice,” he told attendees. “Now, I’m going to tell you, he’ll be 99 in October.”

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