We met Beth Wilson in the lead-up to our Climb the Wall stair climb in February 2019. Beth had committed to climbing in support of lung health as a part of a team run through LIVE WELL Exercise Clinics where she goes to keep fit. Beth has a common and sometimes debilitating condition called COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). In fact, Beth has battled lung problems most of her life, beginning with chronic bronchitis from a very young age.
“Through my teens, I struggled with asthma and frequently had pneumonia. When I was 16, they removed part of my right lung. Right up until my mid-fifties, I fought life-threatening asthma – enduring frequent lung infections and hospitalizations,” said Beth.
Fortunately, by her late fifties, Beth’s asthma and frequent hospital visits had decreased, but then came a diagnosis of COPD – which is not uncommon. People who suffer from severe, persistent asthma at a young age are nearly 32 times more likely to develop COPD in adulthood.
“Thankfully, with help from my specialist and other lung health professionals, I got informed about my condition, including how important it is to exercise,” continued Beth.
Determined to take control of her health, at age 62, Beth signed up at LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic in White Rock, one of a growing chain of exercise clinics specialized in coaching people intimidated by more mainstream gyms unaware of limitations and fears many with chronic conditions face.
"With the help of my exercise coach Stacy, I’ve gone from struggling to walk up even the smallest incline, to hiking Quarry Rock in North Vancouver - and from using the rowing machine in the gym, to joining my local Rowing Club and rowing outdoors!” continued Beth. “There’s no question – for me – exercise has been the best medicine.”
Beth also joined us for Climb the Wall in February, and climbed the 48-flights of the Sheraton Wall Centre in support of the BC Lung Association – paying it forward to support others who also deal with lung disease. And thanks to her hard work, Beth’s health has improved exponentially.
Beth said she no longer suffers any breathing difficulties and hasn’t once returned to the hospital. “When I began exercising regularly in my sixties, my goal was to improve my overall health and strength so I could enjoy my senior years without relying on my family to take care of me.”
Beth Wilson, above, shown with LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic Owner Sue Hodson and Clinical Exercise Physiologist Stacey Buhr. Right, Beth pictured participating at our 2019 Climb the Wall fundraiser, where she climbed over 40-storeys in support of lung health.