"He looked at me and said, 'Have you been exercising?
I can tell by looking at your blood work."
At the Y, we believe in transformational life change. Health and wellness are about more than exercise; they are about improving your life in spirit, mind and body. So many of our members exemplify this change, and we are excited to introduce you to one such member - Easley's Delores Craigo.
In 2012, Delores found herself on the verge of losing her life. She woke up with severe pain in her side and immediately had her daughter-in-law rush her to the emergency room. An MRI discovered a perforated colon, and the doctors learned that Delores was septic.
"The doctor told my family he was going to do everything he could for me, but I probable would not make it. People who are septic as bad as I was do not make it," Delores said.
When she woke from surgery, Delores told her sister she was going to start going to church, get saved and get baptized.
"I had three major surgeries and was hospitalized five times in 10 months," Delores said. "But I started going to church and got baptized, and I don't miss a Sunday now going to church."
In more recent years, Delores has struggled with diabetes and high cholesterol, having blood work every four months to monitor her health. The medicine she takes can have negative effects on her liver and kidneys, so she knew she needed to take control of her health and begin exercising.
A year ago, a friend from church talked to Delores about joining the Y. She came for a tour, knew it was the place for her and has been coming faithfully ever since.
"I knew I was limited (physically), but some of the classes are perfect for that. I can't get on the treadmill, but this is perfect for what I can do," Delores said.
And when she went for her regularly-scheduled blood work in January, her doctor immediately knew something had changed.
"He looked at me and said, 'Have you been exercising? I can tell by looking at your blood work. Your bad cholesterol had improved, and your blood work is perfect,'" Delores said. "I'm losing weight, and it's improved my ability to get around and do things."
While the health benefits are clear in her test results, Delores, a widow, has found SO MUCH MORE through coming to the Easley YMCA. She has found a group of friends and a new place of belonging and support.
"We'll have dinners and do different things to help you get with the crowd," Delores said. "We laugh during class, and it's just a lot of fun. They Y is a good place to come."