YMCA OF GREATER OKLAHOMA CITY

MAKING OKLAHOMA
STRONGER

TOGETHER WE PROMOTE WELLNESS

Meet Robin

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Robin always considered herself to be athletic. She ran track and played basketball in high school and continued to stay active through her twenties and early thirties. At the age of 35, Robin noticed muscle weakness in her legs and she couldn’t cross them while sitting without physically lifting one leg over the other. 

“I thought that since I had gained some weight, it was affecting my mobility,” said Robin. “But, I noticed that other people my size and even larger didn’t have the same problem. That’s when a friend of mine suggested that I see my doctor.

”By the age of 42, after many tests and a muscle biopsy, Robin was diagnosed with Limbgirdle Muscular Dystrophy, an incurable disease that attacks the core muscles in the body, including the heart. Not only is the disease incurable, but there are no medications to help treat the symptoms. Specialists told her it wouldn’t be long before she would be in a wheelchair and she should prepare for the worst.


In addition to the debilitating disease attacking her muscles, Robin also suffers from a degenerative eye disease and severe migraines. Side effects include uncontrollable seizures that sometimes cause her to black out. 


“I remember telling the doctors that I might eventually lose the battle, but I wasn’t going down without a fight,” Robin said smiling.“My main goal throughout this process has been to stay out of a wheelchair and to do that, I need to keep my muscles active. I decided to start working out at a local gym, but immediately ran into problems.


”One gym after another turned Robin away once they realized her physical limitations, but she knew that she needed to stay activeto slow the progression of the disease. That’s when a family member suggested that she visit the Y.
"The staff at the EARLYWINE PARK Y told me that not only would they take me as a member, but that they wanted me to be there, said Robin. "So I began working out in the pool with a personal trainer and immediately noticed a change in my body. I started feeling stronger and eventually began participating in a group water exercise class twice a week."

 

Disability soon forced Robin into early retirement, while at the same time, she suffered numerous injuries which caused her to be bedridden for prolonged periods of time. "My muscles were getting weaker and I couldnít afford my membership anymore," said Robin. "I was devastated that I wouldnít be able to continue my water workouts." 


Instead of being turned away, Robin was given financial assistance at the Y, which allows her to continue her crucial exercise regimen. "The doctors tell me that my heart muscle continues to be strong, and I contribute that to the pool workouts and the staff who encourage me every single day."