“I knew someone who had been through the program before. They told me it was a good program and after my treatments, I had lost about 30 pounds, I lost strength and wanted to get involved with something that would build back my strength. I was just 23 when I was first diagnosed and it was a shocker, and then it came back in January of 2021, so I had it twice in just two years. It was very chaotic and definitely scary. But as long as you have a good support group and great doctors, illness can turn to wellness. My first treatment was BEP (a combination of chemotherapy drugs) and when it came back, I entered a clinical trial where I received high dose chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. The recovery was difficult. I also had a big surgery after the chemo and that took a toll. It was one thing after the next after the next.

I have now been in remission since September 9, 2021. I wanted to get better and move on from it all. The YMCA helped me from a physical and mental standpoint. Before cancer, I was always an active kid. When I went to the Y this past January, Ann (my LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA trainer) helped me with everything. I had never worked with a personal trainer before. She was very friendly and treated me like one of her kids. I didn’t feel like just a patient. Mentally, it helped me get back into a routine. When I was fighting cancer, I was sitting around, not doing much and it was during COVID-19. I couldn’t be around people, I was in lockdown and couldn’t see anyone because my immune system was shot. It was very socially isolating. Today, I feel great. I’ve been feeling a lot better lately.”