Success Stories

Our Participant of the Month, Tanisha

Tanesha photo

Tanisha is 15 years old and has been in our program since 2012. When she began her journey she weighed 189.5 lbs, her height was 5 feet 1 inches tall and her BMI was 34.4. Her doctor, Dr. Coulanges, referred her to our program because she wanted to change her lifestyle. Tanisha was motivated to lose weight and improve her eating habits to improve her health. Another big motivator: she was going to be starting high school that year.

She eliminated soda, cakes, cookies (except for special occasions) and junk food from her diet. She also stopped eating after 6 p.m., started drinking lots of water and exercising more. One of the great things that she learned and has implemented was reading food labels. This has really helped her to make the right food choices.

She said her friends have really noticed the difference in her, they support and encourage her. Her family has been instrumental in her success. They also changed the way they eat and now eat the same food that she does, making it easier for her to stay focused. Her mom used to fry a lot of foods prior to her starting the Live Light program. Now they eat more salads and whole breads.

Currently she weighs 158.3 pounds and her BMI is now 28.0. Tanisha wants to lose another 15 pounds. With all the work and commitment she has shown, she will be able to do it.

The Live Light team is really proud of her success.

Participant of the Month: Ariana


When Ariana’s grandmother learned that her 9-year-old granddaughter was developing insulin resistance and would be prescribed medication, she rallied the support team together.  She wanted to do everything she could to stop the disease process in its track and make sure Ariana would be healthy.

The family listened to the treatment teams’ advice to cut out excess sugar, eat plenty of vegetables, stop frying food and stop drinking juice. Ariana took more dance classes. And when she did a repeat blood test, she no longer needed to be on medication! This goal was reached because everyone in the family participated.

Ariana said it wasn’t hard, but her grandmother noticed that at times Ariana struggled with this new way of eating.  Along with modifying her diet, Ariana continued to exercise at the BRC.  Ariana fondly calls the BRC trainer Ebony “a pusher”.   Ariana explained that Ms. Ebony “pushes me, but I love it.”

Ariana further explains that “To whom much is given much is required”.  To Ariana, that means that if someone gives you the opportunity to do something you should push yourself and try your very best to succeed.

Participant Spotlight: Rushell Walker


Almost two years ago, a mother and daughter set out on a journey to better health and well-being. At the time, Rushell did not like herself very much. She couldn’t fit into the clothes she wanted to wear. She had a hard time playing and exercising, feeling out of breath when she moved around. Her weight made her feel distant from other kids who didn’t share the same, frustrating experience.

Rushell’s mother was also going through her own struggles with weight. After she gave birth to her son, she was unable to lose the weight. At over 300 pounds, she was was burdened by all the things that came along with being morbidly obese. She couldn’t walk down the street or up stairs without becoming out of breath.

So together, mother and daughter decided to make a change. Rushell was referred to Live Light Live Right.  She started exercising with the program. At first, it was difficult to be in the program. She wasn’t used to moving around so much, nor to the feeling of exercising and having sore muscles. Then things started to change for Rushell. She started to feel energized, stronger, and the fatigue wasn’t as pronounced. She was able to wear some of the clothes that she had longed to wear. She lost 20 pounds. She started making friends. Pretty soon she was taking other exercise classes at the Y.

Rushell’s mother knew she needed to make changes in her own life as well. She decided that she would have bariatric surgery. Along with bariatric surgery, she incorporated daily exercise and eating healthy. It wasn’t an easy journey, but the journey was transformative. She lost 100 pounds, and her outlook on life has turned around completely.

Rushell’s mother wants to let all the families who are considering change to know that change isn’t easy, but the benefits are well worth the struggle. She encourages everyone to rejoice in the small changes, make changes as a family, and celebrate every step you take towards a healthy life.

Spotlight on: Steven Nelson, the reluctant camper


At first, Steven didn’t want to go to the Live Light Live Right summer camp program. He was very stubborn and combative about the idea, his mom said. Before camp, his mom had difficulty explaining to him benefits of eating fruit, drinking water, and moving more.

But all that changed once he started camp. He has been exercising and has changed his eating habits completely. He now eats fruit, smaller portion sizes and hardly eats any junk food at all. He says that Miss Ebony and Miss Kim were very encouraging. They told him “no junk” and encouraged him to snack on granola bars and water. His mom says he has never consumed as much water as he does now! Continue reading →

Our Participant of the Month: Brandon Veloz


Brandon Veloz has a success story that he would like to share with you. When Brandon was 7 years old, his mother was looking at pictures of Brandon.  She noticed that something was not quite right. Brandon was gaining weight.  His mother searched the Internet to find help for Brandon, stumbling upon the Live Light Live Right program. That was 5 years ago. Continue reading →

What the Experts Are Saying

Live Light Live Right aligns with Robin Hood’s mission to fight poverty in New York City. The program comprehensively addresses the challenge of childhood obesity in a disadvantaged community where children’s health status is compromised by a lack of affordable, fresh food, physical activity programs, and safe play spaces. We are longstanding, enthusiastic supporters of the program simply because the Live Light Live Right program produces real results with hard data to prove it.
— Eric Weingartner, Managing Director, Robin Hood Foundation

The team at Live Light Live Right has been an invaluable resource to the community. While we try to serve the myriad of health needs of our pediatric patients, we also critically need the expertise of specialists who are extensively trained and experienced in the management of childhood obesity and its complications. Not only do we have a trusted place to direct our patients for the next level of tailored treatment, we primary care physicians also greatly benefit from the education and workshops Live Light regularly provides.
— Dr. Violetta Calibuso MD, primary care physician from Brookdale Family Care Center

What the Moms Are Saying

The Live Light Live Right program is a great program for children because the staff helps the children, not only with weight issues, but helps educate the children about discipline so they can eat right and exercise daily. Since many of the children have low self esteem, it helps for them to be around other children that have the same problem. It makes them feel like they are ok. Even though my son is chunky he has learned that he is a great kid despite his weight. Live Light has helped me and Malik grow and learn how to manage a healthy lifestyle together.
–Malik Hinds’ Mom

Continue reading →

One of the Best Decisions

Brandon has been blessed for participating in this program. When he started the program in 2008, he was 8 years old and weighed 137 lbs.   Putting my son in this program has been one of my best decisions because I’ve seen a lot of improvements in my son’s health and self-esteem. Continue reading →

A Mom and Daughter Lose Weight Together

When Chastity Blair Holland joined the Live Light Live Right program, she discovered a newfound love for veggies and another unexpected surprise: her mom started losing weight too! Here’s what her mom had to say about it all:

I found out about the Live Light Live Right program through a co-worker. The program has changed my family’s life tremendously.  We now look at nutrition labels and incorporate vegetables. Before joining the program we never really ate vegetables, now we love to eat them.  Although it isn’t a competition, Chastity and I are both losing weight since the program encouraged me to participate with Chastity in the exercise program. We have so much more energy which gives us the ability to do more and enjoy life.  I really feel because of what we have learned at the Live Light Live Right program we have made life-long changes that will lead Chastity into adulthood. Now she is so much more conscious about eating healthy and exercising.  We exercise at the Brownsville Recreation Center and at P.S. 165.  At first, it was hard and we wanted to give up. The trainer’s motivated us to keep going and now it isn’t so hard for either of us. I love the way the trainer’s encourage the children through their inspiring words.

Testimonial – Malik Hinds

Testimonial - Malik Hinds“I think the Live Light Live Right program is a great program for children because the staff helps the children, not only with weight issues, but helps educate the children about discipline to eat right and exercise daily. Since many children’s self esteem is low it helps for them to be around other children that have the same problem. It makes them feel like they are ok. Even though my son is chunky he has learned that he is a great kid despite his weight. Live Light has helped me and Malik grow and learn how to manage a healthy lifestyle together.”