Promotional feature with JD Williams

Last November, we offered our readers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – a week’s mentorship working with the Woman team, in partnership with the JD Williams Don’t Tell Me I Can’t campaign.

We were looking for amazing 40-plus women who aren’t afraid to embrace their passions and won’t let anything – least of all their age – hold them back from achieving their dreams.

Step forward Lancashire lady Pam Lane, whose inspiring story made her an obvious choice when it came to selecting a mentee.


Don’t Tell Me I Can’t mentorship winner Pam Lane

Pam was just 50 when she underwent a kidney transplant after six and a half years on dialysis – an operation that she told us “wonderfully transformed” her life.

And she’s not kidding.

Last summer, just five years on, Pam represented Team GB in swimming at the World Transplant Games in Malaga. Through a programme of hard training and sheer determination, Pam picked up an impressive three medals (two silver and a bronze), cheered on by her husband and children.

What’s more, getting fit for the event also lead to Pam losing two stone – or three dress sizes – in weight, which she says gave her a new confidence.

Pam definitely brought this new-found confidence to her week at Woman, where she worked with the beauty, health and fitness, real life and celebrity teams – an experience she says is something she “never would have imagined would be possible.”

Pam assists the Woman fashion team

And that’s not all – during her week’s mentorship, Pam also did something “well outside” her comfort zone by taking part in a magazine photoshoot for our sister publication Woman’s Weekly!

Despite confessing to being “beyond nervous” to begin with, she described the experience – which saw her getting her hair and make-up done by our expert team before being shot by a professional photographer – as “great fun”.

Speaking on-set, Pam told us: “I entered this competition with JD Williams because I really felt that Don’t Tell Me I Can’t could apply to me.

Pam strikes a pose on her magazine photoshoot

“I had a kidney transplant at 50 and suddenly here I am, five years later, doing things that I never imagined would be possible.

“I represented Team GB at the World Transplant Games, and here I am now in a magazine, again well outside my comfort zone. So even at 55, don’t tell me I can’t.”

Pam now hopes to represent Team GB once again at the 2018 World Transplant Games, which will be help on home soil in Newcastle.

Given her track record, we’re sure nothing will stop this inspirational woman achieving her goal!