Kimberley is a wife and mother of two children. Six years ago, life was a struggle for this family. Kimberley was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and her husband was chronically ill while waiting for an organ transplant. They were unable to work and felt they had limited options to meet their basic needs. Health concerns, financial restrictions and a lack of hope consumed the entire family.
Desperate for a change, Kimberley decided to fight against her disease by improving her health. She reached out to our local YMCA for support. Kimberley was intimidated at first to participate in a gym environment, but says she found her “home away from home”. Everyone welcomed and encouraged her through simple acts of kindness – smiles, kind words and subtle acknowledgements of her efforts and attendance in classes. Kimberley’s family also became engaged in weekly programming and enjoyed recreational activities, especially
karate. These programs provided their family with new experiences that strengthened them both individually and as a family. This strength allowed Kimberley and her family to gain skills that opened the door to new possibilities.
Through United Way Oxford donors, subsidized memberships are available at the YMCA for families like Kimberley’s. This support allows individuals in our community to access recreational and social supports. Working together, we can reduce the complex struggles that some families face due to a vast number of circumstances. These programs and services contribute to better health and greater possibilities for Kimberley’s family, and our community.
As for Kimberley, she now has her diabetes under control and is able to maintain steady employment as a vibrant front desk staff member at the YMCA. She welcomes other members into the space helping them feel that same sense of belonging, encouragement and ability to set a path towards a stronger, healthier life.