Each of us has a story. Some carry it quietly and share only when asked. Others volunteer information as a standard part of conversation and, comfortable or not, we will know the intimacy of who they are to the point of overload. I imagine most of us fall somewhere between the two.
We share with intimates or we share on a need to know premise with associates. Some share per request, lending their story to listeners who come seeking a dash of hope or a drop of inspiration. These people often have life experiences that are drawn from tribulation and sealed by courage.
They often deny such attributes, lending that much more to the nature of their character. The following Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America grant recipients are of special interest.
Connie had been diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, arthritis, and hypertension.
Her morbid obesity was the reason for her health issues, but she had been refused weight loss surgery four times in six years.
Connie’s twin sister, Rosemary, had weight loss surgery in 2004 following Connie’s suggestion to have the procedure. Although both sisters had the same health insurance carrier, they had different policies. Connie was denied surgery because her policy did not cover weight loss surgery.
Prior to her gastric bypass surgery, Connie was told she needed surgery on both her knees. Despite her need, she was told that knee surgery would not be allowed because of her obesity. She weighed 350 pounds and did not have the financial means to access the weight loss surgery she needed.
Connie was eventually awarded the Alice Neff Grant and, one year after her surgery, a grateful Connie Bailey has lost over 130 pounds and is a model spokesperson for the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America.
By her own contention, Sarah Halbrook weighed about four hundred pounds when she was in her twenties. She had been obese even as a child and was regularly made fun of by her fourth grade peers. When in high school, she was feared because classmates associated her size with fighting prowess.
Inspired by the unfortunate death of her stepfather, Sarah became serious about losing weight. She recalled her stepfather’s love of the outdoors and concluded that she was not living her own life to the fullest. She quit smoking and caffeine use. She went to see a nutritionist and a surgeon. The day she was assigned a date for surgery she was terminated from her job.
She cashed in her 401K to pay for Cobra coverage and had gastric bypass surgery.
The dramatic 200 pound weight loss after her bariatric surgery resulted in an excess amount of skin. Because she has received a grant from the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America, Sarah was able to have reconstructive surgery.
JJ was a few weeks away from having gastric bypass surgery when he was told he would need to either pay the full amount of his co-pay or have the surgery cancelled. JJ did not have the finances to pay, but his case was bought to the attention of the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation who funded a grant to address the co-pay.