GFA 2018 Conquering Obesity Award

Meet the Nominees


View this year's award winners


Sharon Edgar

Sharon EdgarSharon began gaining weight in her preteen years. She also became a caregiver for her mother who was incapacitated with severe arthritis. She spent a lot of time caring for others and not herself.

Her weight started to climb and at her heaviest, she weighed in at 288lbs. One day at her vacation home in Ludington her walk from the beach was more strenuous than it should have been. That day, she decided to stop gaining weight.

She became more aware of what she was eating. “When I got down to 250lbs, I thought, what if I try for 200?” she recollected, “then I was out of the plus size section and able to buy new clothes. I decided to work at getting down to 150lbs.” Sharon signed up to walk in a 5K event. She fell in love with cycling, and bikes the trails daily. In the winter she walks the trails. Her advice is “If you find the physical activity that feeds your soul, stick with it and over time it will be something you crave and need. In just a matter of years, with determination and support, she is down to her ideal weight.


Laura Hasselbach

Laura HasselbachLaura Hasselbach knows firsthand that growing up overweight is not easy. She saw her family members succumb to health issues due to their weight. Being exposed to these issues, Laura decided that she was going to change her ways and lead a healthy lifestyle.

She tackled her biggest nemesis first, her addiction to pop. With perseverance, she continued her mission to develop a new, healthy lifestyle. Looking to add a physical activity to her life, Laura turned to Jazzercise. Not only was she losing weight and getting physically fit, she was openly welcomed into a wonderful community of lasting friendships. Next, she addressed her relationship with food. For that Laura turned to the Weight Watchers. With Weight Watchers she learned how to maintain a healthy eating regimen without feeling like she was on a diet.

After losing nearly 100 pounds, Laura now leads a group of fellow Wellness Warriors at Henry Ford Hospital, where she educates others on their path to a healthy lifestyle.


Sandi Kopach

Sandi KopachSandi had struggled with her weight as long as she could remember. Her employer started participating in the Lakeland Health Wellness You Program and she decided to get on board. After some testing, Sandi was told she was diabetic. It was then she decided she had the power to changer her lifestyle.

She started watching what she ate and educating herself on food labels. With support from her friends and family, Sandi felt she was on track to sustain her new food choices.

Sandi started walking more and eventually completed her first 5K. By eating healthier and being more active, Sandi was able to cut her A1C in half and lose 100 pounds.

Sandi encourages everyone to find their path to wellness.