Rye Y Story Project: Susan

SusanSI survived cancer. I came to the Y as the next step in my recovery to regain my former strength. I reached this goal and have gained even more than I hoped I would find.

My husband, doctors, family and friends provided the backdrop and encouragement for my new start after surgery and chemo. I was hopeful that the Y would help me regain my former strength. Yet, I was truly as overwhelmed as my tearful eyes reflected thinking of the journey that was ahead of me to get to where I wanted to be.

Barbara and Diana listened and as Barbara placed my name on the LIVESTRONG program’s wait list she suggested I take some of the LIVESTRONG friendly classes held at the Yoga Center at the Wainwright House. These classes were just the gradient I needed to begin. With the support and expertise of the professional trainers there, including that of the dynamic duo of Michael and Stephanie, I established a routine that included learning how to stretch and breathe properly. The strides I made in confidence and strength enabled me to take advantage of the total LIVESTRONG program when my cohort was called.

LIVESTRONG, a national program designed for cancer survivors, has made a marked improvement in my health particularly because it is housed in the nurturing environment of the Rye Y. The culture of care that I found embraced all of my cohort and sustained us throughout the program. Over the weeks, I had the benefit of meeting members of the staff who guided, instructed and coached me through cardio, endurance, flexibility, balance and coordination exercises.

J.T’s words of assurance (and often prodding), “You can do this,” was motivational in having anyone of us try a little harder. Theresa’s attention to detail in asking, “Are you sure that’s three sets?” proved to increase the length of the routines. Michael’s alertness in suggesting modifications prevented anyone from ever being on the sidelines.

Being a part of a cohort with designated trainers gave me the opportunity for conversation with others with similar medical histories and with certified professionals. We shared concerns, challenges, helpful hints and successes, and from a group of strangers we became colleagues and friends.

Kudos Y staff on the planning, preparation, and over-all organization as well. Each session permitted some new learning. This ranged from how to use the machines to an introduction to Pilates and Melting and alterations of previously reviewed exercises either in intensity or design to continuously support our moving forward. As we better understood the options available both in exercising and at the Y for future participation and opportunity, some of the group readily added swimming or Zumba to their programs.


Heartfelt accolades are extended to the incredibly dedicated and knowledgable staff of the Rye YMCA! Your personal approach, teamwork and expertise far exceed what I imagined I might find when I walked through the doors. Now, instead of using the Y as the gateway to my new life, the Y has become part of my life. Thank you. Your remarkable work has made a significant difference in my life.