Shon H.

Tom Taylor Family YMCA

Shon Haverstick knew that something was wrong when she became too weak to walk without assistance and suddenly needed to use a cane to get around. Concerned about her health, she went to her doctor, where she was diagnosed with “mixed connective tissue disease. Her doctor prescribed steroids, but she continued to feel weaker and weaker. She gained 100 pounds and became diabetic.

"I had to take my life back," she recalls. Shon had always been active and especially enjoyed swimming, which she described as getting a big hug from the water. But with her increased weight and limited mobility, just getting dressed for the day was a challenge, let alone getting into a swim suit.

One day, a friend brought her to the Tom Taylor Family YMCA. They attended a few classes together and Shon decided to become a member so that she could get back to being active. Shon made a FitPath appointment, where her coach, Debbie, got her started on a regular exercise routine. She also learned to modify class exercises with the help of her coach and instructors like Dani, Nicole, and Killey.

The first time Shon attended a chair exercise class, she couldn't lift her foot from the floor, but gradually, she built up her strength until she could complete a seated march. Over time, she expanded Shon has expanded her exercise regimen to include yoga and Aqua Zumba with Killey, which quickly became one of her favorite classes.

“Being back in the water makes me very happy and I can feel my mobility coming back.”

Shon’s breathing has improved and she has lost 27 pounds since she started coming to the Y. She has also made new friends and is able to get back to doing simple tasks for herself, like cutting her own toenails, which she wasn't able to for eight years.

“This year is about me," Shon says. "I’m going to work hard to make it happen.”

Similar Stories

  • Lorraine H

    "The variety of programs and wonderful encouraging staff at the Bremerton Y have helped me continue my success."
    Read Lorraine's Story
  • Leon H

    "It’s more than friendship, it’s family.”
    Read Leon's Story