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Linnette Samuels can’t let too much time go by between her visits to the The Thurston Road YMCA Neighborhood Center.

“I wasn’t here yesterday, and I said, ‘I have to go today.’ If it’s even for 30 minutes on the machine, I have to come.”

She first started coming around March of 2019 because she was having problems with her diabetes. Her A1C level was at 14 she says, and her doctor and insurance company suggested coming to the Y.

“I was here a couple months, and I went back to my doctor, and they said it went down to 9. So my doctor said to me, ‘I don’t know what you’re doing, but whatever you’re doing, just keep on doing.’”

What she does is work out on different pieces of equipment – the treadmill is one of her favorites. She also cut out meat and sugary drinks, and instead enjoys fish, vegetables and water. Her doctor noticed a big difference with her most recent visit.

“Because of me coming and exercising – everyday I’m here – my A1C got down to 7.”

Samuels says the number seven is where she is supposed to be. But along with better managing her diabetes, she’s found more at the Y.

“The Y helped me a whole lot,” said Samuels. “I used to feel pain in my back, no more pain. And I feel good about myself.”


And she feels a sense of community. Before coming to the Y, Samuels said she would be found either at her house or at church. She’s made a lot of new friends at the Southwest Y, and you’ll find her at one the tables talking and laughing with other members.

“The Y is a beautiful place for you to meet people, socialize and workout,” she said with a smile. “Sometimes I just come hang out after I finish my work out!”

The Y, and her newfound sense of community and better outlook on health, mean a lot to Samuels. She feels better coming to the Y each day – both mentally and physically.

“It means a lot to me because this place helped me. It helped me with my body. I’m 65-years-old now, and I know I will be coming here as long as God gives me the strength to come here, I will be here.”