— -- One hundred and four is an age few will live to experience.
Elizabeth Sullivan, though, is a member of that exclusive club, despite a lifelong habit that goes against conventional wisdom: three Dr. Pepper sodas a day, every day.
Sullivan rang in her 104th birthday on Wednesday surrounded by her favorite beverage.
"They certainly were nice. They brought me a bunch more Dr. Peppers, and not only were they in cans, but they were in real bottles like I used to get 60 years ago,” Sullivan told ABC News.
The “they” she’s referring to is Dr. Pepper CEO Larry Young himself, who upon hearing about Sullivan wanted to send her a gift.
“We saw it as a unique opportunity to ring in her big 104. We wanted to thank her for being such a big fan of the brand and making us a part of her daily life,” Dr. Pepper director of corporate communications Chris Barnes told ABC News. “There was an ad campaign way back when she was born that has a logo of a majestic reclining lion and a Dr. Pepper bottle in the foreground and the slogan is ‘Vim, Vigor, Vitality.’ There’s nobody who embodies that better than Elizabeth Sullivan – just a wonderful, wonderful lady. We were happy to be a part of her day and make that special and wish her many more.”
Sullivan, who lives in Fort Worth, also celebrated with a cake resembling the beverage that one doctor told her would kill her.
“I saw the doctor and he said, ‘Are you careful about what you eat?’ and I said, ‘Certainly not, I drink three Dr. Peppers a day,’ and he said, ‘Oh my goodness, that’s too much sugar. You will die if you keep drinking that,’” she recounted. “But 10 years later he died and I had to change doctors. So I’m still drinking three Dr. Peppers a day and people said that’s bad for me but you know, not very many people live to be 104. So I guess the sugar in the Dr. Peppers have kept me alive all this time.”