Ricky Gary was diagnosed with multiple illnesses including kidney and lung disease. He was about 200 pounds overweight and used the scholarship program at the local YMCA to lose 130 pounds.

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Ricky Gary was diagnosed with multiple illnesses including kidney and lung disease. He was about 200 pounds overweight and used the scholarship program at the local YMCA to lose 130 pounds.

YMCA programs aim to help locals

From Contributed Reports

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The local YMCA is more than just a gym. The Y boasts several sports programs, a child care center, a swim team and aerobics classes just to name a few.

The Y is a community facility that aims to support the needs of local residents.

Y officials said the organization exists to help everyone grow to their full potential and be their best selves.

Allen Dickens, a member of the Y, said he found at the local facility the support and help he needed in his time of struggle.

“In 2002, I was over 400 pounds, had Type 2 Diabetes and decided I wanted and needed to become healthier,” Dickens said. “I joined the Y and within 90 days, I was off of my medication due to my healthier decisions with diet and exercise. I had a personal trainer here at the Y. She really pushed me and cared what I had been going through. She knew my limits and would not let me go too far.”

Ricky Gary, also a member of the Y, said the staff at the Y gave him the tools to start a healthier lifestyle.

A couple of years ago, Gary was diagnosed with kidney disease, lung disease, congestive heart failure and other problems, which caused him to gain about 200 pounds.

“I looked for help and found the Y,” Gary said.

Gary worked with a trainer and participated in the Y’s scholarship program.

“Without that, I would not have been able to accomplish what I have,” Gary said.

So far, Gary has lost 130 pounds. He also has recently started participating in water fitness classes at the Y.

Y officials said Gary is a joy to work with and his motivation helps motivate other members of the Y.

“I think Ricky has been even more of a delight to our water fitness classes than we have been beneficial to his weight loss,” said Gayle Fatheree, a staff member at the Harrison Family YMCA. “It has truly been my pleasure to welcome him to our classes.”

Fatheree said anyone interested in having fun while getting fit would find the Y a welcoming place. For more information, visit harrisonfamilyy.org.