March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: Jill Hudson’s Story

Jill Hudson at pool

Jill Hudson at the Natelli Family Y Aquatics Center.

As we mark Colorectal Cancer Month this March, we’re reminded of the profound impact the YMCA can have on our lives. Meet Jill Hudson, a member whose journey embodies the spirit of resilience and community that defines us.

Jill’s path to the YMCA began with a recommendation from her doctor, who prescribed water workouts to alleviate her osteoarthritis. Little did she know, stepping into our facility would not only improve her physical health but also become a lifeline during her darkest hour.

Within our walls, Jill discovered more than just exercise classes; she found a supportive network of friends and mentors who became her pillars of strength. Through programs like “Lunch and Learn,” she connected with individuals like Mary Hoagland, whose guidance and encouragement extended beyond fitness routines.

Jill Hudson with Mary Hoagland

Jill Hudson with Mary Hoagland

It was Mary who urged Jill to prioritize her health by undergoing a colonoscopy, leading to the early detection of Stage 3C rectal cancer. In the face of adversity, Jill found solace and support from her fellow members, particularly her water aerobics group, affectionately known as “Melissa’s Mermaids.”

Their acts of kindness – from delivering meals to accompanying her to chemo appointments – underscore the essence of the YMCA community: a place where we uplift and empower one another, not just in fitness goals but in life’s toughest challenges.

Today, as Jill looks toward a healthier future, she does so with gratitude for the YMCA community that stood by her side. Her journey serves as a beacon of hope, inspiring others to prioritize their health and seek support when needed.

This Colorectal Cancer Month, let us heed Jill’s call to action. Get screened, and let us embrace the values of resilience, community, and determination that define us as the YMCA. Together, we can overcome obstacles and inspire brighter futures for ourselves and each other.