Ann O


Ann Overby was diagnosed with colon cancer in January of 2016. After she completed treatment, she felt overwhelmingly exhausted and weak. Ann also struggled with neuropathy, and fell many times, eventually needing shoulder surgery after a particularly bad fall. After her surgery, she signed up for LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, a free program for cancer survivors, hoping that it would help her recuperate, and regain the ability to participate in the activities she once enjoyed so thoroughly.


Ann, a nurse for 30 years, said that growing up, she was a “farm girl” who had always loved sports, being active, and getting outdoors. But after experiencing cancer, surgery, and treatment, she felt “tremendous fatigue,” and was no longer steady on her feet, due to the neuropathy she experienced in her lower body. Though in her early 60s, Ann felt 80 years old, and weak in a way she had never experienced before.

All of that changed when Ann entered LIVESTRONG at the YMCA. Though she didn’t know anyone in the program, the other participants soon became a support system for her, and helped her to succeed. Though the program challenged her and pushed her limits, she said that she was always allowed to go at her own pace, and always felt supported and encouraged.

“LIVESTRONG got me into the routine of coming to the gym again. I was so amazed at the progress that I made,” says Ann. “But in a way, I wasn’t, because I felt so much stronger, and so much like my old self.” The program was even able to help her husband and program support person, Rick, get back into shape and into the habit of exercising.

Today, Ann comes to the YMCA a few times a week, and particularly enjoys our water exercise classes. “After having cancer, you are so, so appreciative of every little thing,” Ann says. “I feel high on life, and so, so grateful.”

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