John never lead an easy life. Born with a strep infection that went undiagnosed until age 2, an overdose of antibiotics by doctors then stunted the growth of his kidneys. By age 32, John’s kidneys could no longer keep up. He needed a transplant, and his only donor option was the one person he hadn’t talked to in years—his mother.
The Moment of Truth
As a child, John was abused by his mother. He ran away from home at 18, and hadn’t seen her since. But with only 2 weeks to live, John had to contact his mother. Thankfully, she agreed to donate her kidney, hoping to make up for her wrongdoings.
The Turning Point
July 17th, 2002 marked the day that John’s life began to turn around. The transplant was a success and his health and family were in the beginning stages of recovery.
John’s health and as his relationship with his mother improved rapidly after the surgery. But now, he faced a new problem. He was put on prednisone to prevent his body from rejecting the new kidney. Unfortunately, them medication also caused him to gain a large amount of weight very quickly.
The Weighty Issue
John received more bad health news at a routine doctor visit on December 12, 2012. Not only had he gained too much weight, he was also diagnosed with diabetes.
The doctors told him that diabetes plus a kidney transplant patient usually lead to death, unless he turned his lifestyle around. John’s wife cried doctor’s office that day, saying, “I’m too young to be a widow, John!”
John went directly to the gym with the hope that he could make a positive change in his health to save his life.
Change Equals Hope
At first, John was timid and nervous at the gym. But he kept coming back. He became comfortable and chatty with every member that passed through the doors and is commonly known as the “Class Clown.”
His smile, positive attitude, and dedication are inspiring and infectious among members old and new. Three shorts months after joining, John was honored as the club’s Member of the Month.
In those three months, John had already lost more than 40 POUNDS. His glucose levels were down and he was taken off his high blood pressure medication. In February 2013, his doctor told him that he no longer needed to take the diabetes injections.
He came into the gym that day and yelled, “I CURED DIABETES!” It was so exciting and a very touching moment for everyone there, and they hugged, clapped, and high-fived John for saving his own life!
Use competition as motivation. “I will jump on the elliptical next to my trainer and we will see who can go the farthest or burn the most calories in 5 minutes.”
Try something new. “You won’t know what you like until you try it. My trainer would create a last-minute boot camp in the parking lot for anyone who wants to join. I never would have thought I’d like it, but I did!”
Find accountability. “My wife was a member but it didn’t work out for her. I was finally able to convince her to join and now we rally for each other to go the extra distance.”
John has now lost more than 80 pounds and continues to inspire all at the Fond Du Lac, WI Anytime Fitness! He has accomplished so much and has overcome adversity. We love you John!