I’ve always been a physical fitness person. I play tennis, I love to swim, I even taught exercise class at the Y in New Rochelle. Four years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer. Everything came to a halt. During that period where I wasn’t exercising, I developed a lot of back problems and pain going down my neck and back because I had degenerative disk disease.

After I finished treatment for the cancer, nobody told me, but I was looking around on the internet and I came across LIVESTRONG at the YMCA. I got the doctor to sign the notes and I eventually came to the program and I thought it was wonderful. It just fit me perfectly. The people were wonderful and the people who ran the program were wonderful. We did different things on different days. Each week we did something different. We became a very cohesive group. We really liked each other very much. And it made me feel so strong again. It really was an opening experience.

After LIVESTRONG ended, there was a period where I didn’t do anything and I wasn’t happy about that. Then I got an email that there was an Enhance Fitness program and would I like to come into the program. It was an arthritis-based program, which was right up my alley because I couldn’t walk through the supermarket pushing my cart without getting sharp pains going down my leg.

As soon as Enhance Fitness started I was there three days a week and that was 3½ years ago. The pain went away. It is an hour program divided up into 20 minutes of cardio, weights with both ankle and hand weights and stretching. It encompasses every part of the body and just makes us feel good. Every one of us always says afterwards, we feel better than when I came. And sometimes 2 pm is a time when you really want to take a nap, but after that I get my energy back.

I felt strong again and I was back to myself. That program also has a very cohesive group and we’re all very friendly. If I don’t show up, which has happened recently, texts keep coming, are you ok, is everything alright? Because everybody cares about everybody and it is a wonderful program.

My internist gave me a physical last month. He sent me a handwritten letter giving me all the data on my blood and included in the letter “Your strength is extraordinary with all the exercise you’ve been doing.” He had measured my strength. He said it was better than any female patient that he had had. He was overcome!