Bluffton resident Janie Kelley Anderson has battled Parkinson's disease for the past decade, with her husband at her side every step of the way.
Bill Anderson's devotion to helping her overcome the disease and live a full life was the subject of a letter Janie Anderson sent to NBC's "Today" show, which made the couple the subject of its "Everyone Has a Story" segment Thursday.
The feature highlights heartwarming stories from around the country, many of them tales of surviving and thriving in the face of illness. In her letter, Janie said she has thrived because of her husband's support over the years.
"Bill Anderson may appear to be a common name, but my Bill is extraordinary," Anderson's letter read. "I awaken with a gratefulness that Bill loves me unconditionally and will do so until my last breath."
Anderson was diagnosed with Parkinson's in March 2003. Then a high school English teacher in central Ohio, she continued to work after her diagnosis with the full backing of her husband.
Working required her to get up at 4:30 a.m. every day to take a cocktail of medicines that allowed her to drive to school. Only when her symptoms forced her to stop working did she step away from her job.
Since leaving her teaching position, Anderson and her husband have worked to cross items off her "life list." As Anderson put it, her husband "knows her conditions don't define her."
Attempts Wednesday and Thursday to reach Anderson for comment were unsuccessful.
Although her husband still worries about her tremors, Anderson said they can still find the humor in them.
"We can laugh that when I have increasing tremors, I'm not shaking, I'm just grooving to the music," her letter read.
That line inspired a song written by co-host Kathie Lee Gifford and performed Thursday by Broadway actress Tari Kelly, titled "Grooving to the Music."
In addition to their appearance on "Today," the Andersons received a four-day, three-night stay at a cottage in Palmetto Bluff. They also will receive a boat cruise on the May River and dinner prepared by a private chef -- a birthday gift to Bill.
"We want it to be a birthday Bill never forgets," co-host Hoda Kotb said.
Here is a clip from the program. This embed from NBC might not be available on some devices.
Follow reporter Matt McNab at twitter.com/IPBG_Matt.