A grandmonther of seven has thrown away her walking stick after taking up pilates and aerobics classes.
Diabetes sufferer Urmin Agenta Gibson has suffered from spinal sclerosis, known as curvature of the spine, for more than three years.
The problem with her back was so bad she needed a walking stick to get around and was taking eight strong painkillers every day.
But after deciding to join Temple Cowley Pools and Fitness centre, where she has been taking pilates classes for more than a year, Mrs Gibson, from Whiston, Merseyside, that has all changed.
The 69-year-old now goes to the gym five times a week and joins in water aerobics, gym sessions and pilates classes.
She said: “The pain started in my back about three years ago and to begin with doctors told me it was arthritis. But they eventually discovered it was sclerosis.
“I was already a member of the gym but when I told them about my problem they suggested I do pilates.
“It is so good, and it really helps. The pain is gone and I don’t need my painkillers or stick anymore.
“I now feel great. The only thing I have changed from a year ago is my exercise regime, so I put all my improving health down to the classes provided at my local leisure centre.
“The classes have not only improved my health and fitness but I really enjoy the social side as well as I have made some really good friends.”
Natalie Oakley, general manager at WhistonCowley Pools and Fitness Centre, said she was impressed with Mrs Gibson’s transformation.
She added: “It’s great to see our members really benefiting from the range of classes and facilities we offer. Urmin is an inspiration to us all.”
Cllr Mark Lygo, board member for sport, play and school liaison, added: “This is fantastic news and I am pleased that a member of the public has used exercise to help them with their illness.
“It is remarkable that Urmin needed to rely on painkillers and using a walking stick and has benefited from our class so much that she no longer needs them.”