Carole first heard about the YMCA through her physical therapist; he suggested she attend daily. After consulting with her family physician, she joined the Y through the National MS Society. She has enjoyed making friends and being out in the community. “There is always opportunity for laughter, and this membership has provided me with community involvement that is so important to my emotional well-being,” she said. She enjoys a number of our group exercise and aquatics classes and credits the YMCA’s staff with helping her every step of the way. With improved coordination and better balance she hasn’t had a “kissing concrete” moment in a long time. As a result of her Y activity, she has also been able to reduce some of the effects MS has had on her body. “To me, the Y has been a huge help with my self-esteem, and allows me to broaden my social circle. It has been a complete blessing in my life” Carole... Read More
Springfield, Illinois- Springfield is cheering on one of its very own in the Rio Olympics. 21-year old Ryan Held was overcome with emotion when he took home the Gold medal on Sunday alongside teammate Michael Phelps. Held got his competitive start with the YMCA in Springfield, Illinois. Ryan competed in Sunday’s men’s 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay and his family and friends all came together to watch. Held supporters gathered at the Kerasotes YMCA to cheer on the Springfield native. Held’s friends say watching his swimming career blossom from high school competitions to a world-wide event is exciting to share with the community. “Go Ryan. Go USA. It’s exciting. Eight days of racing and we’re watching every night. It’s a lot of fun and even more fun having Springfield’s own doing it,” said Alex Totura, competitive aquatics director. His family and friends say they expect him to accomplish much more in his swimming career. Story by WICS News Team – News Channel 20, Springfield – Decateur – Champaign Full... Read More
At the Y, we strengthen community through healthy living because we believe that a community is stronger when people have opportunities to improve their health and well-being. We work with people to provide a nurturing environment in which you can develop skills and relationships for support in meeting your goals. Take, for example, the story of Anita Coleman. A loving mother of four and grandmother of eight, Anita has a passion for helping others. She has spent 13 years running her own massage business and often spends time with her children and grandchildren. However, Anita had some struggles with her own fitness, and spent many years overweight. At one point, she weighed 355 pounds and felt as though she couldn’t get up to enjoy her family or herself. That began to change four years ago when Anita’s insurance switched. Her new doctor recommended water aerobics, and feeling as though it would be the best way to help herself and others, she decided to join the Y. She had been... Read More
Imagine waking up one day and having a fully functional set of legs, then a month later, after a gradual decline in physicality, being unable to move without the assistance of a walking aid? It’s hard to grasp something so terrible and perhaps even more difficult to remain positive about the future. Not only did Jonathan Hunt experience this situation, he refused to succumb to the devastating mental and physical anguish that accompanies such a horrific affair. In fact, he became unwavering in his attempt to be his old self again. Affecting only .02% of the population spastic paraparesis Jonathan could have called his walking career quits. However, that isn’t for what he stands. Doctor visit after doctor visit provided no real answers for him for some time, but Jonathan was determined to get his legs in working order again. Enter the YMCA. Hopeful and determined, he originally found his way into the nurturing care of Regan and the Central Y Aquatics therapy pool. With Regan’s assistance and the... Read More
Emma Lazarus’s words are eternally engraved on a bronze plaque outside the Statue of Liberty. They read, “…Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” For Shah Perai Mohammed Osman and her four boys, that light began shining in July of 2012 and led them through America’s golden door and right into the Y. From Soviet occupation to Taliban oppression to an arranged marriage mirroring enslavement, Shah Perai Mohammed Osman and her boys needed something more than darkness. They needed something other than the vast wasteland that had become their home in Afghanistan. They needed hope, and after arriving to the United States, with the help of the YMCA, that is exactly what they got. Mimicking the famous words of Ms. Lazarus, the Y does not turn anyone away. Rather, the Y provides those who need it most with a safe place to learn, grow and thrive. It is with these welcoming and nurturing characteristics... Read More
When school ends, many children from low-income families lose access to resources important for positive development such as nutritious meals, adult supervision and activities that keep them engaged mentally.