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Gebrehiwet “G” Haile – better known at the YMCA as G – began his Y experience in Ethiopia.

As a child, G knew the Y as the hub activity and fun in his city. His childhood in Ethiopia was spent playing sports with his friends at the YMCA. It only made sense that when G came to the United States, he found his way to the Redlands YMCA, where he felt welcomed with open arms.

“I tried another gym previously but when I came to the YMCA, I felt at home,” shared G.

Although G had fond memories of his days at the Y as a child, he came to our facility in need of help. Diagnosed with Type Two diabetes, G knew he needed exercise in order to live the healthy life he wanted. With his plan in place, G focused on fitness and healthy living each day at the Y. His goal?  Reduce his medication intake and improve his health so he could play an active role in the lives of his friends and family.

After his first year at the Y, G began attending group exercise classes and fell in love with the group atmosphere. His friends encouraged him, his group exercise instructors kept accountable and slowly but surely, G transformed his life.

G made huge progress at the Y and was able to eliminate his injectable insulin use, an accomplishment the doctor never thought was possible. Now, G advocates for others to join the Y and improve their health, like he has. He hopes that his hard work and dedication can serve as a beacon of light for those that are also struggling with type 2 diabetes.

With a smile on his face, G shares: “The best medicine is exercising at the YMCA! When you are working out at the Y, you are working out with a group of friends.”

Support members like G

1 in 4 support Financial Assistance

The YMCA provides Financial Assistance so that we can eliminate the financial barriers that keep families and individuals from wellness resources and a community of support. When you donate to the YMCA of the East Valley, 100% of those donations go straight into our Financial Assistance program so we can serve more in our community.