Meet Eric Bergeson. Eric first joined our Y when it was located on Prospect Street in Nashua. He quickly got involved as a volunteer and became a friendly face to members and staff alike. Eric’s been a Y volunteer at the Welcome Center, the Wellness Center and in LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, a small-group program developed and established in partnership with the LIVESTRONG Foundation, assists those who are living with, through, or beyond cancer to strengthen their spirit, mind and body.
Before volunteering for LIVESTRONG, Eric was familiar with the program. He’s a cancer survivor and graduated from the LIVESTRONG program in 2014. “Megan Demers (The Y’s former Healthy Living Director) made me feel at home. She asked me to join the group. Initially, I wasn’t sure I wanted join. She said to me ‘as long as you’re alive, you’re a survivor.’ That was it, I signed up.” In 2015, Eric joined the group as a volunteer, assisting the trainers as a mentor. “I love being able to work with cancer survivors. It’s a life changing time for us. You have a decision to make, fight or deny it. I chose to go with it and make something out of this experience. I’ve met so many great people at the Y and through LIVESTRONG.”
Healthy living has been a part of Eric’s life for a long time. Eric became an avid bicyclist when his brother introduced him to cycling. He was hooked after his first five mile ride on the Rail Trail. He worked his way up to 80 to 100 miles a week! In 2009, Eric was challenged when he was diagnosed with stage one lung cancer. But six weeks after surgery, Eric was back on his bike, his positive spirit paving his way. Not only does he share his time volunteering at the Y, he’s an avid fundraiser for ‘Cycle the Seacoast,’ the American Lung Association’s one day team cycling event. Eric pedaled with his personal Trainer Bethany, his Nurse Navigator from Lahey Clinic, his daughter and her wife, and his grandson. His team has raised over $6,000.
Colleen Chapdelaine, Eric’s LIVESTRONG trainer, has enjoyed working with Eric. She says, “Eric continues to make the most of his life. His dedication is extraordinary. He has provided YMCA members and staff encouragement, words of wisdom, and countless smiles on a daily basis. Eric is a proud Veteran, he has served our country and continues to serve our community. Thank you Eric for all you do!” She added, “The way Eric signs his emails is a genuine representation of how he lives his life – “I don’t want to get to the end of my one and only life and realize I’ve wasted it.”
And here at the Y, we certainly agree, Eric wastes not a moment of his life. Thanks for being a part of the Y, Eric!
Last year 200 Nashua-area people reclaimed their health after a cancer diagnosis through LIVESTRONG at the YMCA of Greater Nashua.
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