Dan's Story


I always wanted to be a firefighter, since I was a kid. My dad was a firefighter, too. Our department is pretty busy; we handle calls for three townships. For 22 years I’ve been suiting up to handle everything from fires to auto accidents to grade school talks on fire safety. Over those years I kept outgrowing my turnout gear . . . the weight just started coming on, and before I knew it, I was nearly 300 pounds.

I was taking like 14 medications every morning, and I was diabetic. My doctor called me a walking time bomb. He gave me a choice: either start getting insulin shots, or go to a seminar about weight loss surgery at Covenant. I chose the seminar.

That meeting probably saved my life. I decided to get a sleeve gastrectomy, which trimmed the size of my stomach so I would feel full with less food. Everybody at Covenant was so nice. They weren’t easy on you, but they took care of you. They let you know exactly what you had to do. The surgery is only the beginning. You have to keep up with the changes every day, for the rest of your life. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

Overall I lost 110 pounds. When I went to get new turnout gear, I had to keep trying on smaller sizes. My pants size went from 40 to 30. And I have so much energy now, my kids can’t believe it. Last year I ran three 5Ks.

Probably the best thing is that now I’m not diabetic, and in the morning I take just one pill instead of fourteen. Before, my doctor called me a time bomb. Now he says I defused it.


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