TOWN — When she joined water aerobics on the Georgetown YMCA three years previously, Mary Jo Clark didn’t expect to find a bunch of ladies who would protect her afloat after receiving her fifth most cancers prognosis.
Clark, 68, joined the class on the Tidelands Effectively being Georgetown Family YMCA to boost her well being and meet new people inside the area. The Y presents water aerobics classes for all age groups.
Typically, the group has just a few dozen people. When Clark started, they’ve been primarily completely different ladies over 50 from Georgetown County. Quickly, she fell into the rhythm of sharing tales and laughing with them.
“They’re very strong, unbiased ladies,” Clark said. “Every is totally completely different and as soon as they get collectively, they are a highly effective drive to be reckoned with.”
Clark rapidly made a fame for herself among the many many crew as a ball of vitality who appreciated to crack jokes, placed on silly outfits to class and convey snacks for the group.
Clark moreover named the group “Mermaids.” A poster that features the legendary creature presently hangs on the wall of the Y’s swimming plaza in honor of the women.
As a consequence of Clark’s beloved presence, the Mermaids have been hit arduous by her sudden Stage 3 colon most cancers prognosis in May 2021. She shared the knowledge rapidly after she stumbled on she was sick.
Since 2000, Clark has battled breast most cancers, small intestine most cancers and two diagnoses of pores and pores and skin most cancers, together with colon most cancers.
“I was looking out for his or her help, along with their prayers, they normally’ve completed every tremendously,” Clark said. “The day I suggested them that I had colon most cancers, all of them acquired right into a hoop spherical me and commenced saying a prayer on my behalf.”
Clark said the prognosis was stunning because of she had no earlier indicators. The tumor in her large intestine was discovered all through a routine colonoscopy.
Some frequent colon most cancers indicators embody modifications in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, cramping or stomach ache, and completely different such factors, in keeping with the American Most cancers Society. Colon most cancers normally would not set off indicators until it has grown or unfold.
“It was wrenching and scary because of my father died of pancreatic most cancers,” said Vanessa Greene, one in every of many Mermaids. “Nevertheless she has confirmed that almost all cancers should not be basically a lack of life sentence.”
Clark has obtained chemotherapy therapies for over a yr. Through that time, the women have launched presents to her dwelling and have prayed alongside along with her many cases.
“It affords you numerous energy,” Clark said. “If I didn’t have this help, it will likely be truly strong.”
Greene said she and the other Mermaids want to present a supportive, uplifting group for everyone, regardless of background or capability diploma.
“These girls are almost certainly amongst my closest associates in Georgetown,” Greene said. “We merely love each other, and we’re merely having gratifying. I would like further people truly knew what goes on proper right here, and would not be intimidated by the establishing, by getting inside the pool or so forth.”
In late October, Clark realized she was cancer-free. Although she nonetheless undergoes chemotherapy twice each week, Clark seems to be like forward to spending further time with the Mermaids.
“We’re all individuals nonetheless we work as a bunch, and consequently, it has given me numerous energy and consciousness that people can do some good points in a world that’s been in utter chaos,” Clark said.
For further data on the Georgetown YMCA’s water aerobics classes, go to coastalcarolinaymca.org/georgetown/.