BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- When Eileen Ivory was eating lunch at Minnesota Valley Country Club in Bloomington, her loved ones were in the room next door waiting to surprise her.

The reason for the party? Eileen is celebrating 50 years cancer-free.

"I talked to my dad about two hours ago and he said, 'I can't believe we're going to pull this off,'" said Eileen's son, Mike Ivory, the youngest of four kids.

Eileen was 28-years-old when she discovered a lump in her left breast. It turned out to be an aggressive cancer and doctors had to immediately perform a radical mastectomy. At the time, her four kids were all under the age of five.

"Can you imagine? Four young kids, two surgeries, another surgery for reconstruction," said Eileen's husband, Dan Ivory.

Eileen Ivory with her husband, Dan, who surprised her.
Eileen Ivory with her husband, Dan, who surprised her.
Matt Passolt, KARE

Sunday afternoon, her family and friends surprised her with a party to celebrate this huge milestone.

"Oh my goodness was I surprised. I was totally surprised," she said.

Among the pink ribbons and balloons, there was a pink hat on display. The hat, part of Race for the Cure, has 50 ribbons on it to symbolize 50 years cancer-free. She will wear that hat at this year's Susan G. Komen Twin Cities Race for the Cure. Her daughter Kelly Ivory said, "This year will be her 26th year walking in the Race for the Cure. Yep, every year since it began!"

Eileen Ivory at Race for the Cure.
Eileen Ivory at Race for the Cure.

Related: Race for the Cure on Sunday, May 13

Eileen added, "I've had a lot of cancer in my family. My mother, my sister, two nieces."

When asked why she likes to be a part of Race for the Cure, Eileen said, "To show the others that it is possible. You will survive and don't give up hope because here I am."

Race for the Cure takes place this year on Mother's Day.