My life has changed dramatically in the past 24 months since I had a stroke — I am now happier and healthier than I have ever been — and I am so grateful for this chance to share my story. I am hopeful that people who are faced with similar health challenges will find my story helpful and inspiring.
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I am constantly asked about how I was able to recover from the stroke, lose 130 pounds and keep it off for the past year. I did not have surgery, hire a personal trainer or use any special gimmicks. My transformation consisted of hard work and discipline. I could not have been as successful without the support of family, friends and our community. The night I had the stroke I was happily taking care of my family, attending my sons’ football and hockey games, and making sure everyone around me was content.
The effects from the stroke were devastating to me. I did not want anyone outside the family to know because I was embarrassed that I had done this to myself. The combination of my weight, high blood pressure and diabetes were a huge risk factor — which I was aware of, but chose to ignore. The vision in my left eye was affected and my left leg went numb. My doctor told me I might not make it through the next one.
I believed that with the help of my family and faith I could make a change. I never shed a tear or looked back. I joined Trenton Athletic Club and started my slow journey back to health by sitting on a stationary bike — peddling with one foot. Eventually I was able to start taking classes. During this time I saw a nutritionist at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital. I listened, learned, and to this day I follow the plan she made for me. In order for me to make a complete recovery, I had to find the right balance of taking care of my family and finding time for me everyday. Now I even do cardio kickboxing 5 days a week at the Fighting Fit in Wyandotte.
I look forward to my next 50 years and what lies ahead. I now do motivational speaking and share my story of recovery and hope. I have become strong, empowered, and grateful. I live and love life to the fullest, and I hope I have encouraged others along the way.