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Charlotte Toney

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It was the spring of 2009, and Charlotte Toney was tired. She hadn’t felt well for quite some time and couldn’t shake the exhaustion that had plagued her for weeks. This condition persisted, and by August she decided it was time to visit her doctor and get to the bottom of what was causing this feeling. What Charlotte soon discovered was quite a shock and the start of a journey down a long path of health issues–a journey that would bring Charlotte to the City Branch of the Lancaster Family YMCA and a life transformation.

Charlotte’s visit with her physician led to the discovery of a very large tumor. Fortunately, the tumor was benign but required major surgery. After six weeks of prescribed recovery, she started to experience memory loss and back pain. Further tests revealed that Charlotte had Lyme Disease, and she began a course of treatments to relieve that condition. Having been involved in several car accidents in her life, Charlotte had many back fractures, and arthritis was now starting to develop as a result.

Charlotte was at a very low point in her life. A year of dealing with multiple health issues, and now a future with arthritis left her depressed; she also had gained a lot of weight. Charlotte weighed 225 pounds and needed help. Her doctor felt that losing the excess weight was a critical first step to improving her health and suggested she join a fitness facility.

Charlotte had tried various fitness centers before but always came away feeling “unwelcome” and self-conscious. Those negative feelings ceased when she came to the Y.

“I never felt bad about myself at the Y,” Charlotte says. “There is a sense of community and family here. Everyone makes me feel welcome and encourages me to keep going. I feel such a lift when I come here after a stressful day at work.”

Charlotte found the six-week turnaround program to be a great start in getting her acclimated to the Y. She has tried different exercise classes and equipment, but her favorite is the Zumba class taught by Greta. “Greta has an outstanding personality and will stop the class to help someone who is having difficulty. She has been such an inspiration to me.”

During her time at the Y, Charlotte has lost 75 pounds. Her back pain has gone away, and she had an excellent checkup in August. But, her transformation didn’t end there. Charlotte’s emotional and mental health has improved as well, and close friends have noticed a remarkable change in her in self-esteem.

Charlotte’s positive experience has led her to refer 13 new members to the Y. Charlotte said “I can sell anything I believe in, and I believe in the Y!”