senior woman fitness success story BMO half marathon

Member Lynne Spence Runs for Her Life


Lynne Spence, a 63 year old Vancouver member has a goal to run the Boston Marathon next year.

This goal came about a few years ago when she went to her doctor and discovered that she had high blood pressure. He sent her for a CT scan and was then told she had a 94% chance of having a major cardiac event.

Lynne was in disbelief, but well motivated to take a proactive approach to address her serious health condition. She joined Copeman Healthcare in 2006, drawn by its comprehensive and multi-professional approach to health care. Lynne was assigned a whole team of healthcare professionals, led by Dr. Beth Donaldson.

“Dr. Donaldson was my main inspiration”, says Lynne. “She stayed in touch regularly to offer her support and encouragement. I had never experienced this kind of healthcare service before and I knew I was in the right place to get healthy”.

Being overweight and having smoked for 30 years, Lynne knew she had some work ahead of her.

“My team empowered me to make changes in my lifestyle – not just to overcome my health risks but to embrace a lifestyle of wellness. I’ve never felt stronger, and the annual health assessment at the Centre has helped quantify my success and keep the encouragement going for continuous improvement to my health.”

Lynne started simply by walking. When she felt ready, she signed up for the Vancouver Sun Run and changed her eating habits. Success inspired her to keeping going.

Her personal determination made it happen. She ran her first half marathon in Victoria a year after joining the Centre and then went on to finish more. After completing her first full marathon in Newport Beach earlier this year, Lynne qualified to run the prestigious Boston Marathon in 2010.

“As a child I was always the last one picked for team sports, and now at the age 63 I have won my first sport award. I feel very proud.”

In embracing true wellness, both in mind and body, Lynne hasn’t stopped there. Now she is back in school studying psychology and sociology at Thompson Rivers University and enjoying life without restrictions.

“The Copeman Healthcare Centre didn’t only attend to my serious medical conditions. They took a look at all areas of my life and really helped me achieve wellness, a word that has a lot more meaning for me now. I feel that there isn’t much I can’t do now – the possibilities seem endless.”