Omar is a middle schooler with cerebral palsy who started working out with personal trainer, Josh Brown, at the Melrose Family YMCA in the Spring of 2018.  Initially, personal training came as a recommendation from Omar’s physical therapist to improve his overall strength and health before he started middle school, but over time it grew into much more. The pair inspire each other during each session and have cultivated a friendship built on mutual respect for the other’s hard work and dedication to strength training.  Their shared goal is that one day Omar will be strong enough to walk.

Omar’s Mom, Hanan Atiyat explains what the Y has meant to her son, “The YMCA has a great impact on my son’s life . We are very thankful to Josh who is tremendous at helping and supporting Omar physically, mentally, and even financially.  Josh helped Omar develop his self-esteem as his training helped Omar improve his overall physical strength. Josh also helped Omar to stay focused on his goal. Before Omar met Josh he was feeling down and he was a little depressed and didn’t want to attend his physical therapy sessions. Josh viewed physical training with Omar in a different way.  Every time Omar attends a training session with Josh he becomes more thrilled to do more.  I can’t thank Josh enough, and the YMCA in general, for the great impact they had on my son’s new life . My only wish in this life is to see my son standing up and walking independently just like all other  healthy kids in the world. Thank you so much and I hope Omar’s story has a positive impact in someone else’s life.”