My Y Story: Michele
Your donation to YMCA Buffalo Niagara makes a difference in the lives of children and families right here in Western New York.
People come to the YMCA for many different reasons – whether it’s to get healthy, learn to swim, play a sport, or just meet with friends. Michele was introduced to the Y at one of the most trying times in her life – after a cancer diagnosis.
Michele had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and received chemotherapy for six months. “After my treatment was complete, I felt like I had ‘chemo brain’ and every part of my body hurt to move,” she says. “I never thought I would be able to live a normal life again.” A few months later, she registered for LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, a nutrition-based program designed for cancer survivors. “My experience was phenomenal. Not only did it build my strength, it also helped me feel good about myself and restored my confidence that there’s life after cancer.”
Michele had such a positive experience, she decided to apply for a part-time job at the YMCA. She was hired as a Member Service Representative and was recently promoted to Office Manager. “I’ve gotten to know many members over the years,” she says. “It’s been so amazing to hear stories of how the Y has positively impacted their lives. Stories of how our family events give parents more time to spend with their kids, how our financial assistance program gives families hope and allows them to send their children to summer camp, or how our aquatic classes help our older adult members dealing with pain, the list goes on and on.”
Michele says she’s grateful for everything the Y continues to offer her. “They say there is a silver lining to ever cloud. The Y was my silver lining after a cancer diagnosis and treatment. I feel the Y saved me through the LIVESTRONG program. If I didn’t discover the Y, my life wouldn’t be as enriched as it has been since my first time through the door. I believe in this organization and all it represents, and I’m proud to be an employee.”