Keeping Nelda on her feet


If it wasn’t for the Y, Nelda Wright might not be able to walk today. With no cartilage in her knees, her legs cause her constant pain. Because her physical therapists encouraged her to do exercise to manage that pain, Nelda makes it a point to come to the Y every day. She works with YMCA Personal Trainer Jill Kleier and takes her TRX class, uses the NuStep machine, lifts weights and swims regularly to avoid surgery. Nelda says she can come to the Y and work out and hurt, or stay home and hurt worse.

A positive, friendly person, Nelda has been a member at the G. Pearson Ward YMCA for seven years. For four of those years, Nelda was homeless, but was able to hold a part-time job. She was part of the Y’s financial assistance program and was still able to keep her YMCA membership. During this time she grew especially fond of three lifeguards, who made it a point to call out encouragement to her while she was swimming. She calls them her cheering section.

Now Nelda considers the Y part of her extended family. Both the staff and other members are willing to step in when she needs help with a machine. That willingness to help is just part of what sets the Downtown YMCA apart from other fitness centers.

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