Krystal’s Y story has many exciting chapters, the first of which began 8 years ago when she lost her vision as a result of diabetes. She decided to pursue finding a guide dog, but it wasn’t that simple. First she had to start exercising in order to feel more confident while walking unassisted. At the Y, Krystal found the support she needed to exercise safely, build friendships, and eventually qualify for her Seeing Eye dog, Darma.
Another exciting chapter began in 2012 when Krystal’s daughter, Olivia, was born. Having a baby was not going to stop Krystal from exercising, and she found the Child Watch program at the Downtown Y to be very helpful and nurturing. In the years that followed, as Olivia grew into a toddler, she bonded with her mother in Mommy and Me swim lessons and became a preschooler in the Downtown Guided Discovery child development program. This preschool program gave Olivia the opportunity to realize her love for learning, form friendships, and continue her weekly swim lessons! Because of the Y’s Financial Assistance program, Krystal was able to afford these life changing programs for her daughter.
Krystal, Olivia, and Darma are all still Y members. They are greeted warmly every day as they make their way to the pool for swim lessons and water aerobics. Olivia will soon begin a new chapter – kindergarten! Krystal is confident her daughter will excel and credits her love for learning to the Y.