AN AMERICAN grandmother who decided to hit the road instead of undergoing chemotherapy has died at the age of 91.
Norma Bauerschmidt became an internet sensation when she took on the ambitious cross-country journey with her son Tim, daughter-in-law Ramie, and dog Ringo.
They documented the entire journey on the Facebook page Driving Miss Norma, which has more than 477,000 likes.
Norma was diagnosed with uterine cancer last year, just two days after her husband of 67 years died in hospice care.
Doctors discussed the possibility of radiation and chemo, but she had no interest.
Instead, she told the doctor: “I’m 90-years-old, I’m hitting the road.”
“We explained to the well-meaning doctor and his student that we live in an RV and that we will be taking her wherever she wants to go,” daughter-in-law Ramie Liddle wrote on Facebook.
“He didn’t hesitate to say, ‘RIGHT ON!’”
The doctor told them there was no guarantee Norma would survive the initial surgery, and that they were doing exactly what he’d want to do in the same situation.
The sassy grandmother, who weighed just 45kg and was less than 150cm, used a cane and sometimes a wheelchair to get around.
“Norma loves rock hounding, basket making, knitting, reading, jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, tea, beer, sweet wine, and travelling!” reads the Facebook page.
“She has always wanted to ride in a hot-air balloon and would love to go to the moon!”
The trio, from Michigan, travelled more than 11,000km across 34 states.
Norma went horse riding in North Carolina, explored gold mines in Georgia, posed with a giant corn cob in South Dakota, collected sea shells in Florida, and found aliens in New Mexico.
She explored the Grand Canyon, went to a basketball game, sampled all the local brews she could get her hands on, and got held up in a traffic jam of bison.
Norma died on Friday on San Juan Island in Washington.
Thousands of fans expressed their condolences on Facebook.
“So fortunate to have had this journey with Miss Norma. She is flying with the angels now. May God bless and comfort family,” wrote Donna Benson Bennett.
“What an awe inspiring story. You can see the love in her eyes as she partakes of this wonderful world and all it can be to those who choose to take the time to explore it. A blessed lady who left with an extremely happy heart!” posted Karen Price.
Betty Richardson Comerford wrote: “RIP, dear sweet Norma. You did it your way on your terms. Heaven scored an angel.”