Living Well at the YMCA

YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford


Most days, you can find Susan Wilson working out at the Les Chater Family YMCA in Hamilton, Ontario. It’s a complete turnaround from the life she was living in May 2014, when she suffered a stroke at age 58.

Before her stroke, Wilson worked in a demanding customer service job. She says she was also overweight and was not managing her Type 2 diabetes, which placed her at greater risk of stroke. Fortunately, she was admitted to hospital prior to her stroke (she was feeling ill) and was able to undergo life-saving surgery right after it happened.

Since then, she has steadily navigated the road to recovery through Fit for Function, a 12-week exercise and education program that helps stroke survivors improve their mobility, strength, balance, gait and co-ordination. It’s part of LiveWell, a series of health management programs for chronic illnesses including diabetes, stroke, cancer, heart disease and joint or bone issues. LiveWell is offered through a partnership of the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford, Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University. Ys across Canada are leading the way in building healthy communities through innovative partnerships like these, helping to ensure not only recovery but prevention of future health problems through positive lifestyle changes.

"I'm taking my health very seriously," says Wilson. “I'm really dedicated to getting back to normal.”