For years, members of our community have known the Hamilton Area YMCA as a place to improve their health and well-being, but this past March, the Y added a new suite of programs designed to meet the specific needs of those who are living with chronic health challenges like cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and childhood obesity. The first program session recently concluded, and participants in these programs have reported amazing results.

THRIVE, the Y’s cancer wellness program, has helped participants restore their vitality and overcome the deconditioning and fatigue that often comes with cancer treatment. Not only did participants enjoy the physical activity involved in this 12-week program, but they also benefitted from the emotional support participants and trainers provide each other.

Created in partnership with the National MS Society, One Step addresses the specific needs of those living with multiple sclerosis. Rather than piecing together an exercise program from a variety of sources, now participants have a program that directly addresses MS symptoms. This 24-session course has helped participants build strength and combat fatigue.

Delay the Disease has been helping those living with Parkinson’s disease retain and improve their mobility since its inception three years ago. Participants have gone from walkers to walking on their own thanks to the program’s focus on counteracting the movement challenges that come with Parkinson’s disease.

Created in partnership with Hamilton Pediatrics, the ACT! program has been teaching kids between the ages of 8-17 how to manage their weight through exercise and proper nutrition. With a 3:1 ratio of exercise and nutrition sessions, the kids in ACT! report significant weight loss, improved endurance, and increased self-esteem. Thanks to a grant from Janssen, ACT! is offered for only a small commitment fee, and the entire family receives a complimentary membership to the Y for the duration of the program.

“Our new Healthy Living Programs were created in response to requests we received from the community,” said Hamilton Area YMCA Associate Branch Director Joe Fuhrman. “That is part of our mandate as an organization — to listen to the needs of the community and respond. Seeing the progress our participants have made and how their quality of life has improved has really reinforced our commitment to our mission.”

All of the Hamilton Area YMCA’s new Healthy Living Programs are open to the entire community. Non-members receive a complimentary Y membership for the duration of the program, so they can apply the skills they are learning to their daily lives and maintain their progress in between sessions.

The next session of the Hamilton Area YMCA’s Healthy Living Programs is underway. For more information about these programs and how you can register, please visit the Y’s website ( or contact Joe Fuhrman at 609-581-9622 ext. 132.

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