Getting Back to Her Feet: Robyn’s Story

In 2010, Robyn E.’s life changed in her sleep. At the age of 50, she suffered a stroke caused from sleep apnea, a chronic condition in which breathing stops and starts while sleeping.

Now requiring assistance with her daily activities, Robyn moved in with her parents. As she settled into a new routine and new chapter of life, Robyn set her sights on rehabilitating her body and getting back to her feet.

Right out the gate, Robyn hit a roadblock finding affordable and quality rehab and physical therapy. Her insurance-based physical therapy released her from coverage multiple times and told her she would be bound to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Robyn believed in herself too much to let that happen.

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Robyn is seen here working with her physical therapist at the Goodwill Fitness Center on her customized rehabilitation program.

That’s when Robyn found Goodwill’s Rogers A. Severson Fitness & Technology Center. A friend and member of the Fitness Center told Robyn about the facility, its customizable physical therapy programs, and its affordability. In November of 2013, Robyn joined the Goodwill Fitness Center and pursued an intense weekly regime of personal training and therapy.

Flash forward to today, Robyn can walk with the assistance of a cane and walker and has gained back her ability to travel independently and is even working on driver’s training.

Photo by Ana Venegas

Photo by Ana Venegas Robyn works with a Fitness Center trainer to continue improving her mobility.

If Robyn had listened to her insurance company, she would still be in a wheelchair fulltime, with little hope for recovery in sight.

Robyn got back to her feet thanks to the Goodwill Fitness Center.

“I have truly found a home here at Goodwill’s  Rogers A. Severson Fitness & Technology Center,” said Robyn. “While the equipment, trainers and physical therapy are all outstanding, the friendships I have made here are the most rewarding.”

“Sometimes when we are working on walking around and I’m dragging, the positivity and support and ‘atta girls’ I get from other members really helps me push through,” she continued.


Since joining the Fitness Center, Robyn has gained a greater range of motion and independence.

Since joining the Fitness Center, Robyn is much more independent now. She enjoys playing bridge and going to the theater. Next up she plans to take classes on how to adapt knitting and crocheting to her disability!

Robyn said, “I am learning that recovery is a journey, not a destination. No matter the setbacks I have had, the Goodwill Fitness Center staff have never given up on me. They have adapted things around any challenges that come up until the problem is resolved. I know that I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without the Goodwill Fitness Center.”

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