Due to COVID-19 some of our regular programs and services may be on hold temporarily. Our pools will be reopening on August 10. Stay up to date on what is currently available within your YMCA and H2O centres on our COVID-19 Updates page

My name is Julia Gilbank and I have been a member at the Kelowna Family YMCA for over ten years now. Prior to that my exercise routine included walking with a friend in the evenings, but then my back went out.

I went to a therapist who recommended I join a gym and start a supervised fitness program to regain my strength. I signed up for the YMCA Coach Approach Program and the caring staff showed me how to exercise properly, supported my health goals and monitored my progress. After growing stronger, I decided to try yoga.

I now attend the Kelowna Family Y up to eleven times a week and it feels like home to me! The only reason I can frequent the facility as often as I do is because of the subsidized membership the Y has provided me. I am retired and living on a limited income, so I would only be able to afford to drop-in twice a week at most, and forced to choose from the many activities I love. I don’t know where I would be without the Y’s financial assistance program as I cannot afford regular therapy and I don’t want to be dependent on pain medication.

I was recently given a cancer diagnosis. But I am hopeful because by maintaining my health with regular physical activity, I sleep better, eat better and now have a supportive group of friends who I met at the Y. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the amazing donors for giving me the strength I need heading into this journey. Please don’t stop giving as you are making such a difference in the lives of people like me. And as members, we try to help with fundraisers like the YMCA Walk-a-thon. It’s just one great big supportive family here.