Although, we knew keeping our family fit was a high priority if we were to continue using our God-given abilities.

Working long hours for many years, I tried to eat right and bring a level of health conscientiousness to my family, attempting to squeeze in some exercise when we could come together. So, moving to Arizona has been a breath of fresh air away from workaholism.

Our daughter Danielle hadn’t run off to college yet and Julia was enjoying her new elementary school. We’d show up at the YMCA a couple of times a week, but got so busy adjusting to our new environment we took a break for several months before addressing the fact family health needed a firmer commitment.

This time around, we found ourselves at the “Y” about three times a week, until Cindy was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. The very first chemotherapy treatment she received almost stopped her heart, so she ended up with a referral from her amazing surgeon to visit a naturopathic biochemist. He conducted a circulating tumor cell test reading negative for any cancer in her system. However, he looked deeper into her blood to discover where her cancer actually started and advised what she could do to keep it from returning. Hallelujah! Her repeat factor dropped 30% in the first ninety days after she began seeing him. Now, he has her on a regiment of cardio exercise, attending the YMCA six of seven days. As a byproduct, hanging out with my wife has placed me in the best physical shape of my life.

When I was fourteen, my first experience with the YMCA was having my mother sign me into a Karate class after being bullied most of my young life. This introverted kid didn’t know what to expect, but it soon became evident I was breaking out of my shell and learning some self-discipline and self-confidence I hadn’t attained elsewhere. After receiving a hash mark on my yellow belt, I recall other areas of my life had improved immensely.

Julia had an opportunity to experience the current Karate instructor for a complete session and enjoyed the class. We took it together and it makes one realize just how long the “Y” has been in our communities, dedicated to building people up in a number of ways.

Danielle is off to college but returns home to workout with us as we’ve turned exercise into a lifestyle.

We’ve met so many welcoming people on staff and our family enjoys the safe environment. My wife’s story is cycling around the gym and she has prayed with and encouraged others who are experiencing similar life-threatening illnesses.

From me, my wonderful wife, and amazing daughters, we are grateful for everyone who makes the YMCA the incredible place it is to commune.