17 years ago, at just 21, Lynne was told she would never walk, drive or work again. She suffers from lupus and acute arthritis, affecting both her joints and organs. The body's immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks the body itself. Retiring at 21 sounds great, but when you are using a wheelchair and have difficulties getting out of the house it can be boring. "My brothers call me square eyes," laughs Lynne, "because I can watch so much television".
Lynne was determined to prove her doctors wrong and while she relies on her wheelchair can walk and drive a little when she is feeling well.
However she knows she cannot manage a full day at work, which is why she started a hobby that she could enjoy from home, would keep her mind active AND she would be successful at - COMPING!
At first, her family joked about comping, not understanding why it could really take six months before you can win your first prize. But Lynne knew that she needed to build up the amount of competitions she had entered and wait for the closing dates to fall - after six months she won her first prize; a packet of crayons from an Asda competition! But it wasn't long before the prizes started rolling in regularly. Lynne averages between three and five prizes a week!
Her family now love supporting her hobby and are proud of all of her successful wins. Her dad pops by the house every day to collect 20 postcard entries to take down to the post box and Lynne looks out for competitions to win prizes for her mum, dad and four brothers. Her family also look out for competitions for Lynne, in fact it was her brother who gave her the Benson and Hedges entry form to win an all-inclusive holiday in the Maldives. And she did win, taking her sister- in-law with her for the most relaxing holiday she has ever had!
"It is difficult going to some countries as my wheelchair won't go over sand, and flying can be a nightmare. But in Mauritius everything was idyllic, the staff were brilliant and we didn't want to leave".
Lynne's biggest win was two years ago with the Daily Mail's token collecting competition - a massive £100,000 cash plus your mortgage paid off in full. Not only this when she is 62, she will also get an annuity of £25,000 a year to live on. What an amazing prize!
The first thing Lynne did was book a holiday to Egypt for her dad and brothers for her dad's 70th birthday. He had been stationed in Egypt during the Suez Crisis (1956) yet had never been able to leave camp to see the Pyramids or the Sphinx. He burst into tears when she gave him his present. According to Lynne's brothers her dad could not stop talking about Lynne to the people they met on holiday, how proud he was of his daughter and what amazing prizes she had won.
"We haven't booked a holiday this year" said her dad. "We'll wait and see what our Lynne wins first!"
Lynne's favourite prize was eight years ago, winning a £4,000 holiday to anywhere in the world. Her nephew Mark is mentally disabled and has always wanted to go to Disney World, Lynne couldn't think of a better way to use the prize! She booked a villa for seven in Florida near to Disney World and the family had an amazing time.
"Mark was waking me up every morning", recalled Lynne, "dangling my car keys in front of me, desperate to back to Disney World".
Two months ago Lynne won £5,000 in a prize draw and is using the money to pay for her next set of hospital treatments. "It's not the most exciting way to spend a winning prize" says Lynne, "but without it I wouldn't have been able to see a consultant for 9 months".
Determined as ever, Lynne is entering 20 competitions a day, hoping to win a holiday for the family for when she has come out of hospital. Waving her dad off to the post box she knows the things she has missed out on but recalls all the things she has gained through comping, it has changed her life and, says Lynne "It really is my one pleasure".