MAC member beats health issues, trains for Senior Olympics

Published: Jan. 31, 2013

LANSING, Mich. - Sparrow is helping a Charlotte woman (and new Sparrow Caregiver) realize her goal of participating in this year's National Senior Olympics after surmounting obstacles that would have defeated most people.

Dianna Laverdiere, 52, overcame breast cancer, obesity and other health issues to lose more than 100 pounds and set her sights on competing in the cycling event in this summer's Senior Olympics in Cleveland, Ohio.

Laverdiere has received a scholarship through the Sparrow Foundation to train at the Sparrow Michigan Athletic Club after telling her story to system leaders. She said in searching for the right exercise facility she knew "the MAC was the place for me."

"Many people told me what an inspiration I have been to them through observing my weight loss and drive and commitment to my exercise regime," Laverdiere said. "I tell them they can achieve the same success but they need to be consistent and place motivators, such as physical challenges, in front of them. It's never too late to start."

Said Stella Cash, Sparrow's Vice President for Development and Strategic Partnerships: "The Sparrow Foundation is so pleased to help Dianna achieve her training goals. Her story is a testament to what people can overcome to adopt healthy lifestyles and how the MAC can help them."

Nicole Brillantes, Membership Marketing Manager at the MAC, noted how proud MAC leaders were of Laverdiere's many achievements.

"We plan to continue to develop her skills in cycling," Brillantes said. "Dianna has been taking her training seriously. I often see her at the cycling classes at the MAC."

Laverdiere is also now officially part of the Sparrow family; she began work this month as a scheduling assistant at Sparrow's Thoracic and Cardiovascular Institute.


Sparrow, a member of the prestigious Mayo Clinic Care Network, is mid-Michigan's premier healthcare organization that includes hospitals in Lansing, St. Johns, Ionia and Carson City as well as Physicians Health Plan, Sparrow Physicians Health Network, the Sparrow Medical Group and the Michigan Athletic Club. Sparrow is affiliated with Michigan State University's three human health colleges. Through these partnerships and the dedication of our 10,000 Caregivers, Sparrow pursues a vision to be nationally recognized as a leader in quality and Patient experience. For more information, visit and