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Healthy Options, Oban
A 65-YEAR-OLD woman who lived with chronic pain after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s has transformed her life – after medics prescribed fresh air.
Catherine MacGillivray relied on sticks to help her get around but now she’s back walking her dogs every day after taking part in a pioneering initiative.
Catherine had just retired when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after living with chronic pain and fatigue for years.
Overweight, depressed and reliant on sticks for walking, she was referred to community health partner Healthy Options which designed an activity programme with her. She started slowly in the gym before taking to the countryside for weekly forest walks with the group.
Three months on she has lost more than a stone in weight, no longer relies on sticks and has been able to return to walking her dogs every morning for half an hour – something she feared she would never be able to do again.
Catherine said: “Healthy Options has changed my life, definitely. “I was very depressed after being diagnosed. We’d just retired and it was the worst news we could have had. When I first [attended Healthy Options] I used a walking stick but I no longer use it anymore. It has made me stronger, physically and mentally. The impact on my life has been amazing, just amazing.”