Alison L.

Bremerton Family YMCA

Alison and her husband joined the Bremerton Y several years ago, but at first, were not very consistent in their use. In May, 2015 the Loris family went to Oslo, Norway. After a week of climbing stairs to their fourth-floor room and walking all over the city, Alison lost nine pounds.  Determined to keep them off, she started working out more often. In November Alison went to Urgent Care feeling feverish and dizzy. At Harrison Hospital, she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, a respiratory infection and diverticulitis. Worse, there were spots on her lungs that she was told might be tumors. Alison quit smoking 25 years prior, but had smoked in her youth, and been exposed to second-hand smoke all her childhood.

The infections had to be cleared up before the spots could be diagnosed, but dealing with diabetes was an immediate necessity. That meant changes in diet and lots of exercise. She chose walking—outdoors in good weather, on the YMCA track in bad—and swimming.  Her work schedule didn’t allow lap swims during the day, but Alison began attending Deep Water Fitness. “That’s a very welcoming group!” she said.  “I’m not much of a “joiner” and I can’t wear my hearing aids in the water, but I’ve enjoyed many friendly conversations while improving my core muscles and stamina.” She has always tried to take part in the Y’s Resolution Runs, and this year she discovered it was much easier for her to walk a 5K than it used to be, which is incredible progress!

Meanwhile another CT-scan, and then a PET-scan, confirmed two tumors in her right lung. This April two of the three lobes of Alison’s right lung were removed. She went into surgery much healthier than when the tumors were first noticed, which helped a lot with her healing, but recovery was a much longer process than she wanted it to be, and by May, when her surgeon cleared her to do weight training, she had lost pretty much all of her muscle.

At first Alison just blundered around the weight room. Then a FitPath appointment with Anastacia gave her a workout routine that she now completes three times a week.

While she waited for the incision to close, Alison often ran into women from Deep Water Fitness, who said they were looking forward to seeing her back in the pool. At last, on July 1, she could swim again. Her summer work schedule did not allow her to go to Deep Water Fitness, but she swam laps three times a week, and signed up for the Half Mile Open Water Swim Race on August 27. She came in last, but she was not racing anyone but herself, and for finishing she was so proud. 

Even though she is now missing most of her right lung, she is in better shape now than a year ago. She has lost sixty pounds, increased her stamina and taken control of her diabetes. She has made major changes in her lifestyle, and the YMCA staff, facilities, programs—and other members have been a huge support. But Alison Loris’ incredible Y Story is what supports us- the YMCA.