Donna Stewart

Member Stories

It was the support and the people at the Y that made the difference, an inspiring and supportive experience.

Donna Stewart

Meet Donna Stewart, one of our LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA alumni. Donna was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer in March of 2017. When her husband saw an ad for the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program the following fall they called about it right away. She'd had a surgery in June that had taken 6 weeks for her to recover from, and she wanted to prepare for another surgery she was having in December by becoming stronger. So Donna joined the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program in October. She says that it really kept her motivated that they measured her progress. "Steve Knouff really helped me with the exercise machines and how to gauge my progress so I knew when to increase the weight I was using." Over the course of the 12-week class she increased her leg press from 20 lbs. to 90 lbs. and her chest press from 25 lbs. to 70 lbs. working really hard to increase those amounts. The other goal Donna had in the class was to be able to stand up from being seated on the floor. As an amputee from an accident several years before, this was something she struggled to be able to do. But in the class she was able to practice and build up enough strength to do it. And the 2nd time she had surgery she was able to lift her weight from the wheelchair and walk inside the hospital before she was dismissed. She was also encouraged by being with the other survivors. When her hair fell out she was with other people whose hair had also fallen out but had grown back. "It was the support and the people at the Y that made the difference, an inspiring and supportive experience." While Donna really appreciates the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program and the strength she gained from it, physically and emotionally, she desires to give God all the glory for the blessing of her healing.

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It's been so fun to watch the kids grow up within the YMCA organization. And as an added bonus, some of our closest friends are families that we've met through the Y. We feel extremely fortunate to have such awesome opportunities for the kids to have fun, stay active, and make new friends, and we are excited to continue exploring all that the YMCA has to offer!

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