A Letter from Member Sharon Williams
“Webster describes “family” as “a group of people with common characteristics.” My husband and I joined the Benjamin Harrison YMCA in September 2017. It was one of the wisest, most fortuitous decisions we’ve ever made. The next month, our world confronted a major hurdle and “my journey” began. I was diagnosed with breast cancer for the third time in 24 years. Since “3” is my lucky number, I was resolute that God was giving me a sign. Therefore, I chose to undergo a total double mastectomy. Since my DNA bears the BRCA-1 mutant gene, I opted for 6 months of chemotherapy. This course of action decreases the likelihood that any other type of cancer will invade my system from 50% to 10%. I told my surgeon “sign me up immediately!” How could I refuse those types of odds?
I’ve always been an extremely positive, optimistic person and I felt God’s presence and guidance in making these critical decisions. I also was blessed with a loving husband, precious daughter, wonderful church family, close friends/neighbors and two beloved giant schnauzers. I knew this would be a successful journey! However, nothing in my life could have ever prepared me for what I was about to experience. God began placing “YMCA Angels” in my life. They first appeared in the warm, welcoming lobby and spread through the hallways, locker room, pool complex, exercise area and separate workout rooms and offices. These “YMCA Angels” are secretaries, gatekeepers, towel collectors, custodians, instructors, assistants, lifeguards, coaches, managers and fellow patrons.
Their sincerely generous smiles, hugs, kisses, reassuring words, displays of camaraderie, wonderful suggestions/advice and loving gifts (prayer shawls, hats/turbans, flowers, cards, tee-shirts, cupcakes, etc.) are encircling me with the “Benjamin Harrison Family of Love!” God has blessed me beyond comprehension with a beautiful extended family!
I am extremely honored and humbled, YMCA Angels, with all of your friendships. Thank you sincerely for joining me on my journey!”