Thanks to everyone for the support along this most amazing journey
My name is Greg,
I am married to a wonderful woman Kimberley , who forever holds the key to my heart.
We have been blessed two amazing sons Cj & Chad, as great of blessing at that is… it gets even better for us as we are also gifted with some of the greatest family and friends any that anyone could ever ask for.
We have faced many challenges throughout our life’s together as a family, and before I go any further I must give credit where credit is due.
Kimberley, not only are you such a great mother, sister, grandmother, friend and wife… you are my mountain… I say mountain as it is bigger then a rock and for all you have been thru… a rock would have crumbled long ago …. yet you still stand proud and tall like a majestic mountain! you are my superstar!
Cj, you have always been the best big brother for Chad, Son for your mom and I, a great & loving husband.. a father 2nd to none for our four darling grand children… we are so very proud of you son.
Here is my story:
Many years ago, I met wonderful single mother of two fantastic boys CJ and Chad.
We dated for a while, but being young single male, I apparently was not ready for family life. After a couple years apart, I realized it was indeed Kim and the boys that made me click thus began the battle to win Kimâ€™s heart back. (Another whole love story that melts your heart) We may have been apart, but neither of us stopped loving the other.
Jump ahead to August 5th, 2000, We were married in a beautiful wedding. I married Kimberley as well as “our” two boys.
THE GREATEST thing to ever happen to me was to become husband to Kim & “dad” to both boys.
I couldn’t have had more love them more, if I had biologically fathered them myself.
Chad endured multiple disabilities having been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy just months after his premature birth… he faced one challenge after another through out his short life.
Yet Kim stood strong and faced them as they happened. Sadly, Chad passed away March 24, 2008. Chad blessed all the people that were fortunate enough to get to know him in his 20 short years.
Even before the loss of Chad, Kim endured so much tragedy loosing her Mother and Father, as well as sister and a brother sometime just months apart yet she still stood strong ” My Mountain”
Being over weight was always one of the biggest challenges of my life, as well as the NUMEROUS health issues associated with “morbid obesity”. dieting as well as exercise was always a battle just one after another, Move two steps forward and then three backwards it seemed at times.
I have been ever so blessed with the greatest team that have forever stood with me in these life long battles, friends and family alike.
Life has truly blessed me with the greatest friendships any person could ever ask for.. I say friendship and that includes my family as they are some of the greatest friends I have..as well I consider my closest friends family…it’s a win win for me. yes indeed… it’s all good.
After a terrible car accident in 1989 I was laid up for nearly two year with multiple injuries…during that time I really gained the weight. no mater how hard I tried… I just could not take it off more then a few pounds… and even worse.. I just could not seem to keep it off.
At 6’3″ tall I topped the scale at a whopping 640 lbs… sometimes someone would be brave enough to ask…” what do you weigh? ” my standard answer was always 167 lbs…give or take a beer truck… full.
It was getting to the point that I had to face my own mortality on a daily basis… wondering each night when I went to be.. “will I be hear tomorrow”? THANK GOD I WAS!
Over a 19 year span I was in and out of the hospital so many times I can not even begin to count them… I have had 14 D.V.T.’S ” Deep Vein Thrombosis ” (blood clots) in the legs…
two of them have made their way to my lungs where they then become what they call P.E. “pulmonary embolism.”
Many people do not survive these.. I am blessed that I was able to. I have had a filter implanted in me to catch any future clots and hopefully prevent them from making that trip to my lungs.
Another big issue I faced with my weight and size was getting treatment for various injuries and illness… when you get to a certain weight there is just not the same treatment options for you as there are for normal size people. I have had some Dr.’s that have shown much frustration and empathy when they have had to tell me “you are just to big” other that have been quite blunt and with disgust in their voice as well as attitude toward me. no compassion what so ever… Yes it really does happen
Many times it would get so discoursing and I know not only for me but for the great team I had behind me as well. However at the end of the day, as easy as it could have been to throw in the towel… WE didn’t do it!
In 2003 with my team behind me & Kim right by my side, started to actively pursue weight loss surgery.
Kim would go with me every time, we would sit thru appointment after appointment, seminar after seminar ( a requirement for the surgery) only to keep getting told that I could not have the surgery… I was not a “good candidate”, or ” With your blood issues we cant do it”…or the funniest one… ” your just to heavy ” HA! believe that one…
ANYWAY… after nearly a five year battle, we were making real headway.
With Dr. Raphelson (our family dr.) AS well as Dr. Scott Laker ( my weight loss surgeon) now on board and their belief and support in not only me but my great team as well , things started going our way…
August 31st 2007… Dr. Appt… 640 lbs… was told couldn’t have surgery to repair knee due to my size… I could hardly walk any more at that point.
Dr. Raphelson jumped 100% into our battle…
November 14th 2007, I met Dr. Laker for the first time in his office in Detroit, my weight at that time was 590 lbs Dr. Laker informed me he could do surgery.. but I need to prove to him that I was 100% committed. He then Challenged me to loose 50 lbs. and told me that if I did that he could do Laparoscopic surgery, instead of open surgery.
Long story short…. after five months of pre op testing & numerous appointments with many other Dr.’s, I not only met Dr. Lakers challenge but blew it out of the water. I ate nothing but a lean cuisine for lunch and another for dinner….I lost a whopping 80 pounds pre op!
May 7th 2008, I along with My most amazing wife,family & many great friends behind me and just 5 weeks after the tragic loss of our youngest son Chad…I underwent “Roux-en-y (RYN) Gastric Bypass Surgery”
4 plus years later, I pleased to share that I have lost a grand total of 382 lbs…. at my last visit with Dr. Raphelson , My weight ( 268 lbs) has not changed more then two lbs up or down in over a year ! way to cool ! I think I am leveling out,
I have lost 36 inches off of my waist.
I no longer have Man boobs ” Moobs” ( but that’s another story )
I FEEL GREAT! Life as a little person is just way too cool… so many thing I can do now that before were just wishful thinking. It’s all good!
those who know me know that I can be long winded at times…lol but this life changing surgery/lifestyle is SO amazing, I have so much more I would love to share, and my plan is to do just that .
Bottom line I just want to say thanks again to everyone for all the support you have shared along this most amazing journey. there is an old saying… “It doesn’t get any better then this”
Well friends I AM TELLING YOU it gets better EVERY DAY! and most of all IT’S ALL GOOD!
I have been thinking of some new career options….
I believe that I would most enjoy doing something in the area of fund raising for special needs programs… I also would love to help others who have battled lifelong struggles with weight issues…
I could talk forever about the amazing journey I have had on my weight loss adventure…not to mention all the wonderful people who have been there every pound of this fantastic journey …. I just feel like I have so many positive vibes and stories to share …..it is with great hope that maybe ….now and then..here and there I could truly help others out who are facing challenges of their own..what ever they might be.. 🙂
I can not imagine anything more rewarding then to help someone have just a better day.
Now if I could get over my shyness I believe I could be pretty good as a motivational speaker… turn me loose let me speak from the heart.. I would REALLY love nothing more then to start a charitable foundation in Chad’s name to assist special need Kids & their families that endure the daily challenges as well as the financial struggles…..