Biggest loser is the lucky one

Janice Gardner-Chisholm lost over 200 pounds after gastric bypass surgery and has been selected to be a torch bearer in Langley on Feb. 8.

The chance to carry the Olympic torch is a chance to celebrate a new life for Janice Gardner-Chisholm.

Ten years ago, she was suffering from congestive heart failure.

And three years ago, she had gastric bypass surgery.

The 40-year-old has since lost 245 pounds.

“The surgery is not an easy fix,” she said. “It is a gift.”

With only a limited number of the surgeries done each year in British Columbia, Gardner-Chisholm knows she is one of the lucky ones.

“I knew I had to give 90 per cent and the surgery was only 10 per cent,” she said.

“This is a totally different life I have been given and I have to maintain it.

“I went from not being able to walk up a flight of stairs without being winded to this past October (when) I did three half marathons in three weeks.”

An avid Coke drinker her whole life, Gardner-Chisholm was constantly collecting the online points through a Coke promotion and redeeming them.

One day, she saw that Coke was sponsoring a contest where people could submit the chance to carry the Olympic torch during its cross-Canada trek.

On a whim and with no expectations, she entered.

“When I did the half marathon, I thought it was part of my journey in losing all the weight and giving back to the surgeon,” she explained about why she entered the contest. “Trying to promote as much as I can about the surgery and keep my life. I wanted to do it as another way of showing that I have made it.”

Back in August, Gardner-Chisholm received a phone call at work telling her she had been selected.

“I didn’t believe her; I had a few choice words,” she said with a laugh.

It soon clicked in that this was no joke and Gardner-Chisholm would be carrying the Olympic torch.

The first calls were to her parents and boyfriend, who have been instrumental in supporting her along the way.

And with her big day quickly approaching, Gardner-Chisholm is a roller coaster of emotions.

“I have been following the torch relay,” she said. “I look at the pictures online and the stories from the torchbearers and get tears in my eyes.”

To prepare, she has been walking on her treadmill and going for walks during her lunch hour.

And while 300m doesn’t seem like a long distance, she knows it will be something special.

“I think I am just going to go with pure adrenalin that day,” she said. “I am very excited.”

Born in Victoria, but raised in Delta, Gardner-Chisholm is new to Langley, relocating here following a recent divorce.

She will carry the torch in Walnut Grove on Feb. 8, beginning her jaunt at 208 Street at 90A Avenue and running to Telegraph Trail.

Just Posted

Sources Langley Food Bank can’t find a home

Lanflords don’t want to rent to the food bank and time is running out

Vancouver Giant named to Western Conference first-tier all-star team

Young hockey defenceman Bowen Byram is once again lauded for his outstanding efforts on the ice

Giants begin playoff run in Langley tonight

With one win and a loss last weekend, the G-Men now top the Western Conference

WATCH: Langley Glow events denied permission to run

Darvonda Nurseries received a notice from the ALC on March 5.

Arrest and prohibition part of RCMP-CN police education exercise.

Tickets were issued and violations observed, although the focus was to educate drivers.

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Police watchdog investigating after man falls out third-storey window in Vancouver

The man fell to the ground and was taken to hospital with serious injuries

Cheetahs will not prosper in Creston: Permit rejected for two big cats

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

GM announces jobs, electric vehicle after Trump criticism

The company says it will spend $300 million at its plant in Orion Township

Trucker who caused Broncos crash likely to be deported: lawyer

The Crown has asked that Sidhu serve 10 years in prison

China chemical plant blast kills 47, injures hundreds more

This is one of China’s worst industrial accidents in recent years

Montreal priest stabbed while celebrating morning mass

The incident happened Friday morning at Montreal’s St. Joseph’s Oratory

Organic Matters tea recalled across B.C. due to Salmonella

Recall for OM tea products is B.C. wide, possibly national.

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Most Read