Brenda’s job severely impacted her health, yet with support from the Free Clinic and Powell Wellness Center, combined with her own strong will, she has made great strides toward regaining her health.

Brenda’s health journey is inspirational and we appreciate her willingness to share her story.

After years working with toxic chemicals in landscaping and furniture refinishing, Brenda was left struggling to breathe. The medications she needed made her gain weight rapidly and before long she was unable to work and seldom left her bed.

When she fell and broke her leg in three places, the doctor told her she would never walk again. Without health insurance, the bills that piled up during Brenda’s hospitalization kept her from getting regular medical care.

Brenda’s daughter Chrissy talked her into going to the Free Clinic of Culpeper — “My Free Clinic,” as Brenda calls it. Brenda arrived at the Clinic in a wheelchair, unable to walk or care for herself. She needed oxygen to breathe and was borderline diabetic.

At the Free Clinic, both Brenda and her daughter got medical care that had been put off for years. They had physicals, lab work, visits with specialists and were given much-needed medication — all at no cost to them. In Brenda’s case, the care she received saved her life.

The Clinic staff referred Brenda and Chrissy to Powell Wellness Center so they could begin to build up their strength and lose weight. However, they were unable to work and therefore couldn’t afford the membership fees.  Both women received scholarships and full access to the facility. The fitness scholarships are available to eligible community members thanks to the generous support provided by donors.

Driven by her strong will and positive attitude, Brenda has lost more than 100 pounds. She can walk four laps on the track around the fitness floor at Powell. Her goal is to lose 100 more pounds. She is motivated by her desire to take her grandchildren for a walk around the neighborhood.

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