Helen seated and speaking during and interview about her story.
Staff Stories

Preventing Diabetes - Saving Two Lives

When Helen discovered the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention

Kelsay Smith
 (Contributing author)

Helen’s mom needed a kidney, but Helen knew she couldn’t help her mom until her own health was under control.  “In September 2015, I learned my mother was experiencing kidney failure. At that time I had been working out a little bit at the YMCA, but I had already been diagnosed with pre-diabetes and prehypertension," said Helen. 


When Helen discovered the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program, everything began to fall into place.  “I joined the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program in Durham. It was hard work, but the weekly session helped me reverse my pre-diabetes and prehypertension," said Helen. "I felt healthier and I lost a lot of weight. Most importantly, the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program made it possible for me to save two lives. I was able to donate a kidney to my mother as a result of my own lifestyle change. I saved my own life by using the tools I learned in the program. I know that I can pass on healthy habits to my children." The YMCA is dedicated to removing financial barriers so everyone can have access to better health and wellness.  Thanks to donations to the Annual Campaign, qualified participants can get financial assistance for the Diabetes Prevention Program.  



We’re celebrating 25 years of building people through the YMCA’s Annual Campaign. Help us inspire involvement, bridge critical gaps and create opportunities for all. 100% of every dollar given through the YMCA’s Annual Campaign is invested in the lives of people who need the Y. This Giving Tuesday you can help us celebrate 25 years of building people with #Give25for25. Your gift of $25 will help children, adults and families right here in the Triangle.

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Kelsay Smith

Kelsay is the Member Services Director. She is committed to providing a warm and welcoming environment at the Henry County YMCA.

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