Some members of our WRMC Wellness Works community are celebrating major accomplishments as a result of their hard work and dedication.
One of those individuals is Dan Carew, a quiet 45 year old who has lost over 175 pounds since undergoing gastric bypass surgery in October 2010.
Dan had looked into having weight loss surgery as far back as 2003, but grew frustrated when his insurance company was unresponsive. After months of never getting a “yes” or “no” answer to whether his surgery would be covered, he moved on.
It wasn’t until 2008, and almost by accident, that he even learned his insurance would cover the surgery… that he’d been approved all those years before.
“I became upset,” Dan says of this frustrating time. “I was angry and felt like I’d gotten the runaround. I told myself I could do it on my own and didn’t need the surgery.”
But Dan found he wasn’t succeeding on his own, even though he recalls diet after diet. SlimFast, Weight Watchers… you name it. “I started to doubt I'd ever be healthier and was giving up on myself and my future,” he says.
Then, Dan’s father learned he had lung cancer.
“It took a very hard lesson in life to wake me up and make me realize I needed the help of surgery to be the person I'd always wanted to be.”
Dan remembers sitting with his Dad in the hospital in 2009: “We had some good talks about what he wanted me to do with my future. He wanted me to be there for my Mom.”
Dan signed up for gastric bypass surgery. Those familiar with gastric bypass know that it is a tool, not a miracle fix. Dan did not escape any of the hard work of adjusting to a healthy lifestyle.
“I wasn’t scared going into it, because I knew the long term outcome would be great,” says Dan.
Following surgery, Dan knew he needed to incorporate exercise into his lifestyle. He just didn’t know where to begin.
“I had looked into the local YMCA and honestly, it wasn't the place for me,” he says. “I needed someone to show me what to do and how to do it.”
Dan is thankful that his mother told him about UW Health Partners Wellness Works, and shared Bob Scott’s story with him. His mom knows Bob's wife and they had talked about the trainer at the Wellness Works being highly recommended by many of people in town.
“I contacted Shane Brown to see what he could do for me,” says Dan. “I'm very grateful for his patience and understanding of what I can do and what I can learn to do. I have met some incredible people while going to the Wellness Works and enjoy exercising with them.”
It’s been a year of firsts for Dan, who now enjoys concerts, shopping at the mall, walking trails with his friends, and visiting new places around the state.
“As I look to my future,” Dan says, “I don't dwell on what was my past. I just know I'll never go back to that lifestyle. I will be a better person inside and out to help guide others to a brighter future.”
Dan’s advice to others is “don't give up, we all struggle with rejection, pain and sorrow over comments made by others. Get ready to live...I know I'm ready!”
“Although my Dad is gone,” he says, “I know he's with me every step of the way through my journey of getting healthier. With the help of my family, friends, and the support groups I go to at the hospital where I had my surgery, I am getting closer to my goals.”