Martha Mares has always taken care of her family: first, her father until his passing and then her husband as he battled with cancer. At the age of 48, she walked into the Y Living Center using a cane and walker to help her get from her truck into the branch. At 260 pounds she struggled with pre-diabetes and arthritis, but having to take care of family didn’t leave much strength for her to take care of herself.
Martha decided in January of 2013 to take time to get herself healthy and began the Y Living program. For six months she made time to be physically active and eat healthier. Her husband’s health continued to worsen and she struggled to make time for herself. In August of 2014, her husband of over 30 years passed away from cancer and Martha began to search for herself again. She joined the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program and continued her journey to a healthier person. The members and staff have wrapped their arms around her to lift her up.
Martha is now a Silver Sneakers and Zumba instructor with the YMCA. She is teaching others what she has learned and sharing her journey to lead a healthier life. The cane and walker are collecting dust in the closet, and she plans to never need them again. Martha has lost a total of 55 pounds and 14½ inches from her waist. She was just featured on a segment on Univision sharing her story. Martha inspires members and staff every day.