Former Bodybuilding Great Jackie Paisley’s Tough Road to Recovery

/ Posted 01.16.2013


[photos courtesy of Jackie Paisley]

I was in the seats at the San Jose Civic Auditorium, circa 1987, when 25-year-old Jackie Paisley dominated the women’s bodybuilding division en route to winning the overall crown. And, I was there the following day when Paisley displayed her award winning physique for the lenses of IRON MAN photog Michael Neveux in an outside shoot.

The elegant Paisley, a graduate of the prestigious Carnegie Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, went on to shine in the pro ranks: in 1989 she won top honors at the Ms International in Columbus, Ohio, followed that up with a fourth place finish in the Ms Olympia and added a runner-up medal at the World Pro Championships (losing by a single digut to Diana Dennis) to her sparkling resume.

Paisley retired from competition in 1991, and began a very successful training business in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as also teaching choreography. But, choosing to get silicone breast implants to enhance her appearance during her time on stage planted the seeds of what Jackie calls a seven-year nightmare.

“After retiring from competition, despite maintaining a fitness lifestyle and career as a personal trainer, I started experiencing fatigue and head pain, and was subsequently diagosed with “Silicone Toxicity” due to implant leakage….I learned I only had months to live,” says the now 50-year-old Paisley. “But, after undergoing two surgeries, including a seven-hour procedure to remove adhesions and eight lymph nodes (February, 2011), I’m getting close to full recovery.”

But Jackie, mother to eight-year-old Neo, obviously wasn’t able to work consistently, resulting in a landslide of outstanding bills. Thanks to good friend Derwin White, Paisley is fighting back, both physically and financially. White started an online fundraising campaign on Paisley’s behalf a week before Thanksgiving, and the few donations she received helped her make it through the holidays. Though Jackie has been “out of the loop” for so long, she was able to get some support from folks like Rachel McLish, Collin Rhodes, Shawn and Laura Boiscaq, Debbie Bramwell, Autumn Spencer and some contributions from kind folks in England and Australia.

She’s rounding into the home stretch, but still needs some help in making to the finish line. If anyone could spare some change for Jackie and her son, it would be greatly appreciated. To make a donation to the “Jackie Paisley Fund, using PayPal, credit, debit or checking, go to http://www.jackiepaisley.com/Welcome_.html. Please use “Personal”, then “Other”, when donating.

Jackie provided many wonderful moments on stage for her fans; now’s a time to lend a helping hand so she can help herself.

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