Virtual Offerings are Still Transforming this LIVESTRONG Participant

My Y Story: Deirdre S.

Robert Heyer, My Y StoryDEIRDRE S.:

Meet Deirdre S., one of the newest members of the LIVESTRONG community here at the Y. When talking about her experience, she lights up: “LIVESTRONG did so much for me; it transformed me.” Deirdre learned about the program from her oncologist at Lowell General Hospital, who recommended the program. Although very active, Deirdre wasn’t eager to workout in a gym setting. She kept LIVESTRONG paperwork for a month before she called the Y. “My doctor knew my desire to do anything to prevent a recurrence of breast cancer. Staying fit and being active has always been something that I value. I knew I needed to get strong and stay strong. We do a lot as a family hiking, kayaking and biking. Deirdre has three teenagers, and will be celebrating 25 years of marriage with her husband on August 26! In her words, “I have a lot to live for and need to stay healthy!”

Deirdre grew up as a dancer. She loves to walk. But, she knew she needed some inspiration to become better toned and to strengthen her core. She felt so welcomed when she connected with Eirikur Holt, her LIVESTRONG coach. Her small LIVESTRONG group of two women and herself gave her support and kinship. “Eirikur showed us the ropes, it’s been a very, very positive experience. I was shy around the equipment and wasn’t sure what I was capable of.”

During the pandemic, Deirdre is not ready to come back to the Y quite yet, but she has been keeping healthy at home and has loved the Y’s online fitness videos. In fact, it’s been a family affair, with her daughters joining her in exercising. (They especially love Amber’s Pilates workouts!) “We have a great workout – together!”

Deirdre’s eager to come back in person to the Y. “I felt so welcomed and so comfortable. I love the diversity of people I was able to see using the facility. It was beautiful, cool experience.  I see all kinds of people with different challenges, all kinds of abilities. The Y is such a happy place to be. I appreciate Eirikur reaching out to me, to make sure I’m exercising. It has kept me going.”

“Deidre is one of those remarkable people you feel lucky to know,” said Eirikur Holt. “She always brought a smile and positive attitude to every class. Her dedication to self improvement was matched only by the level of support she showed to her fellow classmates. Deidre not only pushed herself to reach new limits, she was always encouraging her classmates to do the same, and would be right there to congratulate them on each new milestone they achieved. Deidre is honestly the perfect example of what can be accomplished with hard work and a positive attitude.”

We can’t wait to welcome you back, Deirdre!



Livestrong at the YMCA helps adult cancer survivors reclaim their health and well-being following a cancer diagnosis. Survivors can improve their strength and physical fitness, diminish the severity of therapy side effects, develop supportive relationships, and improve their quality of life. Since 2007, the LIVESTRONG Foundation has been the YMCA’s partner in developing and delivering Livestrong at the YMCA.

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