Contributed photo Lung patient Beth Wilson with her coach, certified exercise physiologist Stacy Buhr of LIVE WELL exercise clinic in Surrey.

White Rock senior set sights 48 storeys high

Beth Wilson to participate in annual Climb the Wall challenge Feb. 24a

A White Rock senior who has battled respiratory problems for most of her life is gearing up to climb 48 storeys in support of others living with lung conditions.

Beth Wilson is set to participate in the BC Lung Association’s 18th annual Climb the Wall fundraiser on Feb. 24 at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, as a member of the LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic team.

The clinic, owned by Surrey’s Sue Hodson, tailors fitness programs for people living with chronic conditions.

It’s how Wilson met Hodson, and what led her to sign up for the stair-climb fundraiser as a representative of the one-in-five people living with a lung condition in B.C.

Wilson, 65, has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Her lung struggles started decades ago, with chronic bronchitis.

“Through my teens, I struggled with asthma and frequent pneumonias. When I was 16, they removed part of my right lung,” Wilson said in a news release issued Thursday.

“Right up until my mid-fifties, I fought life-threatening asthma – enduring frequent lung infections and hospitalizations.”

People who suffer from severe, persistent asthma at a young age are nearly 32 times more likely to develop COPD in adulthood, according to the release.

Wilson credits the fitness clinic with helping her understand the role exercise plays in managing her condition. She signed up for the program in White Rock at 62.

“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!” Wilson said.

“There’s no question – for me – exercise has been the best medicine.”

Wilson said she no longer suffers any breathing difficulties and hasn’t once returned to the hospital. She’s also been able to say goodbye to high-blood-pressure medication and daily inhalers.

“Who would have thought – at 65, I’m fit, happier than ever, and medication-free,” Wilson said.

Last year’s Climb the Wall drew participants ranging in age from seven to 80 years old. This year, more than 300 climbers are expected to take the challenge.

Participants pay a $25 registration fee and commit to fundraising at least $125. In return, every climber receives a 2019 Climb the Wall T-shirt, brunch and more.

Anyone interested in donating to Wilson and her teammates may do so by searching team LIVE WELL at www.stairclimb.ca

All proceeds are to benefit lung-health research, education and advocacy programs across B.C.

For more information or to register, call 604-731-5864 (LUNG) or email stairclimb@bc.lung.ca

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