A Far Rockaway woman turned to the local YMCA to help her regain her strength and health after Hurricane Sandy. NY1’s Clodagh McGowan has the story.
A 40 year-old wedding picture is the only thing Maxine Moore could salvage from her Far Rockaway home, after Hurricane Sandy hit.
"Everything else, all the albums, all our other pictures, everything was destroyed," said Moore.
Moore and her husband Hector had to deal with nearly seven feet of water in their basement. She says within days, mold set in.
"Everything was black," she said describing the damage.
Moore became seriously ill after the storm. She says doctors found mold spores in her lungs and gave her hours to live.
"My heart rate was going at 180 beats a minute, I had pneumonia and my kidneys were shutting down. In other words, all my body systems were shutting down," said Moore.
She overcame her illness but knew the battle was far from over.
At the time, she weighed 350 lbs. and was ready for a life change.
"I knew that if I was going to get any better, not only would I have to eat properly but I would have to get exercise," said Moore.
So, Moore joined the Rockaway YMCA and tried a 'chair yoga’ class.
"I felt like well, everybody here looks nice and fit, you know? I could barely move my legs; I was walking with a cane," said Moore.
But she stuck with it and after a few months she no longer needed a cane. Since then, she's dropped more than one hundred pounds.
"It gave me confidence," said Moore.
Healthy Lifestyles Director Ann Fosteris says she took notice of the fact Moore wanted to help others.
"She would just go up to people naturally and just see if they were okay and how she could help them," said Fosteris.
Moore became the YMCA's Rockaway Ambassador. She volunteers her time greeting members and making them feel comfortable.
"The Y is for everyone. And that's what I figured would be a good job for the ambassador," said Moore.
Moore says she's paying it forward because she feels like she got a second chance at life.