Change starts here.

My name is Kaylee Cornish, and I see the impact of donor gifts every day.

After 7 incredible years working at the Kelowna Family YMCA, I resigned to pursue my dream of becoming an LPN. Leaving was tough because I consider so many Y members my friends and because the Y had become my second home.

Growing up, my family life was unstable. Emotional and physical abuse was a daily occurrence. I battled eating disorders and depression, and in the toughest of times, the YMCA became my safe place.

I started volunteering at the Y straight out of high school. That's when I started to build healthy relationships, strength and ambition I didn’t know I had. I began my journey of recovery. Soon after becoming a staff member, I knew it was time to battle my eating disorder.

Weight loss was hard, I loathed the gym, and I thought everyone was staring at me, staring at me because I was fat, 208 pounds of fat. I met with Colin for a Coach Approach session - he set me up with a program that I enjoyed. Now in 2017, I'm 3 years healthy from my eating disorder and working on loving my body that is 60 pounds lighter.

The YMCA has taught me to take responsibility for myself and to be a caring individual. The members I see pass through the Y doors every day may be rich, poor, happy or lonely. We all have a story. This is why, when I was in a position to give back, I donated to the YMCA of Okanagan – to keep our doors open to everyone.

I donate for anyone in need of a safe place to go, support during times of struggle, and a chance to participate in a program that discovers their full potential. My gift can change a life and yours will too.

As I embark on my next journey in life, I will carry all the support, friendships and opportunities the Y has given me. I will miss my Y family!