When life threw Aseneth Parker a curveball, she came back swinging. A Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan member, Aseneth wanted to get her health back on track after undergoing knee-replacement surgery. She joined the SilverSneakers fitness program as a way to incorporate regular cardio exercise into her lifestyle. Then, after tragically losing her daughter to breast cancer, she found that the access she has as a member wasn’t just a source of physical support, it also provided great emotional support.
Aseneth’s commitment to physical health and fitness in the face of difficulty earned her a nomination for the 2017 Richard L. Swanson Inspiration Award. This annual award, given in memory of the father of SilverSneakers’ founder Mary Swanson, honors a SilverSneakers member dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle and leading others to do the same. Out of hundreds of nominations, Aseneth has emerged as a top-10 finalist. “For me it means a lot because I have come through so many hurdles, emotionally and physically. Outside of the knee replacement, I lost my daughter to breast cancer and we were very close,” said Aseneth. “For years I was in a state of depression. Having the ability to go to the gym and exercise through Silver Sneakers helped me to come out of that.” She has made it this far on her own, and now she needs our help! Now through July 14, Aseneth’s story will be featured on the SilverSneakers voting site. Please click here to visit the website and vote for Aseneth. “I know other seniors that don't think that they can be active because they're too old or too stiff, but if you just try a little bit at a time, your body responds to that,” said Aseneth. “Our body was not meant to be sedentary, we were meant to move. I'm 69 years old but I'm told I don't look it, and I certainly don't have an old spirit. You've gotta think you can do it before you can get there. It's a mindset.” Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan congratulates Aseneth on her success and positive spirit. We are encouraging members and their families to vote once per day, and share their votes on Facebook and Twitter as a show of support for Aseneth’s courageous and heartfelt attempt to lead others to live healthier lifestyles. The official winner will be announced on the SilverSneakers Facebook page on July 17. Congratulations and good luck, Aseneth!