Woman recovering from surgery with exercise rewarded with dream trip

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There were mornings when Mindy Huggins-Collins of Lancaster could hardly get out of bed. Those mornings were as recent as January of this year when the 60-year-old needed back surgery.

"You get up and you can't feel your feet and you're holding yourself against the wall trying to get the feeling back so you can at least get ready for work," Mindy said.

So she had the surgery and got back to work. Then doctors introduced walking as part of her rehab. She gets up early and walks three days a week before work.

She works at the Lowe's on Brice Road. She's on light duty right now because of her back surgery, but while she cashes out customers at the register, she was getting ready to cash in on the opportunity of a lifetime: Disneyland in California for a 5K race.

And to top it off, she was offered an all expenses paid pass for the festival-type weekend.

Mindy was thrilled, excited and said she'd be honored to wear a shirt bearing the name of her health care provider, Cigna, because they recommended her for the trip to a group called Achilles International. It's a non-profit dedicated to helping people get back to the workforce by participating in athletic events.

Mindy says they hook you up either with a personal trainer or try to get you involved in some kind of way so you can get back your life.

Her life, at age 60, now includes her first race.

During a recent walk, she said 60 feels like 40 again, instead of 90.