Ruth, Midge, Barbara, and Susie

Tom Taylor Family YMCA

Ruth joined the Y years ago. But when her son died suddenly, she needed to take some time off. After about a year, Ruth knew she needed to move forward. She returned to the Y and met with staff member Camille in an effort to return to some physical activity and sense of community. This included the SilverSneakers® classes and Active Older Adult social activities.

Ruth's return to the Y was so beneficial that she was moved to share in her experience and invite her neighbors Midge, Barbara and Susie. At first, Midge, who self-identifies as "shy", resisted coming because she didn't want anyone "watching her," but she agreed to try it. Her daughter, Barbara brought Midge to a SilverSneakers class, accompanied by Barbara's service dog, Susie. 

During the first class, Midge needed some help getting out of her chair. The second class, she did it on her own! She was so proud. When asked how the Y has impacted their lives, the ladies gave us the following summary:  "Ruth has a more healthy outlook and feels better. She is drawing strength from connecting with others. Midge does not feel self conscious and is feeling stronger every day. Barbara has better movement and feels good. Susie (our three legged friend), blesses people daily."

The classroom lights up when Susie enters the room. The love returned to Susie is supporting her fight against cancer. The fearless foursome have expressed their gratitude to the Y staff who have made them feel so welcomed and part of community. From the moment they enter the facility and are greeted by Chrissy at the Welcome Center  to the support of their instructor, Camille and the spiritual support of James, the Chaplain, they know they are in a place that feels like family. "All the staff are so nice, positive and real."