“I have been a member of the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA for five years. I first joined the LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program after treatment for breast cancer. I heard of the program from a friend, however, she had limited information. Then – not by chance, I might add – a representative from the Y came to my workplace at the time to talk about having an in-service at the Y on Audiology. This allowed me the opportunity to gather some information from the rep regarding the LIVESTRONG® program. I don’t think this was merely a coincidence. I then scheduled an appointment for an evaluation and thus started the program.

LIVESTRONG® helped me in several areas. First of all, when Ann (my LIVESTRONG® coach) took me around to show me the machines, I could literally not get my leg up on one of them. My ability was extremely limited. When I was evaluated 12 weeks later, I showed a definite improvement in all areas. The comraderies of the participants in the program also was very strong. We were all there for the same reason and we shared the experience of both the diagnosis and the treatment of cancer in various forms. Before the program, I just felt the usual day-to-day practice of routine, however, after the program, I felt a sense of accomplishment and something that I would like to continue with. It would seem a shame to do so much good for oneself and then just let it slip away. Had I not been awarded a scholarship to the Y, I would not have been able to continue.

My favorite part of coming to the Y now is the knowledge that when I am exercising in the gym, I am doing something good for myself. It is always a challenge because I have multiple back and arthritic issues, but I do it anyway. Also, no one judges each other if they are elderly or disabled. Everyone is there for their own betterment. What I missed most when the Y was closed was the opportunity to exercise my body. I did exercise at home, but of course it wasn’t the same nor as effective. I came back the first week that the Y opened the gym – and, I might add that the physical labor that went into the relocating of the gym equipment is phenomenal. I feel comfortable coming to the Y now that it’s reopened because, number one, everyone with whom I come in contact with is very friendly and welcoming, from the person who checks you in outside, the person at the front desk and Steve who is so very helpful and knows the machines and what each one is designed to accomplish. It is also comfortable knowing that the equipment is kept sanitary and I like to be known by name. It is a place in which I feel at home.”