Meet Janice Fratangelo, a long time Y member who uses the Hal Welsh East Area Family YMCA daily.
Prior to COVID, Jan participated in water therapy with the “Water Divas”; a group of friends who have known each other for years and met in the Y’s therapy pool. When Jan started back after we reopened our fitness facilities, she couldn’t use the therapy pool due to capacity limitations, so she decided to venture upstairs to work out in the cardio room.
Jan was one of the first Y members who came through the doors in the cardio room when we reopened our fitness facilities. Every day at 3:00 pm the Health & Wellness team would hear the elevator doors open and knew it was Jan. Everyone looked forward to her daily visits. Soon, a friendship formed. The staff says: "Jan is an inspiration to all of us. Although she has health issues that can make her life challenging at times, she comes to the Y every day. It makes me ask myself what’s my excuse. She is a bright spot in my day and goes out of her way to talk to everyone. She is so complimentary."
The staff wanted to do something kind for Jan for all she does for them, so they decided to decorate her favorite bike in celebration of her birthday. When Jan came in and saw the bike with the decorations she was blown away. She said she was so surprised, that it brought tears to her eyes.
I spoke to Jan about what the Y and the Y staff mean to her. She said “I am glad to have a place to go that helps me escape and feel better. I feel better physically and emotionally. If I don’t come to the Y, I feel worse but after exercising my pain is better. The Y is so personable just like family, everyone is amazing. The staff keeps me motivated an inspired.”
Keep it up Jan – you are amazing. We are so grateful for members like you. Thank you Jan for being a Y member and for your friendship.
~Mary Beth Anderson