Friday, September 23, 2011

Woman Loses Weight To Donate Kidney To Brother

Good Morning America profiled Kari Roberts of Crestwood, IL who lost 135 pounds in order to be healthy enough to donate a kidney to her brother.  She had always wanted to shed weight, but never had the right motivation until her sibling was suddenly faced with the need for an organ transplant.  

Obviously, being a family member, the chances were high that Kari would be a good match, and because her two sisters had existing medical issues, she was the sole family member that had a shot of being able to donate a kidney.  But there was one problem - potential donors must be in good health to even be considered for testing and because of her 320 pound weight, she was ruled out as a possibility.

It was a turning point for Kari who was determined to help her brother. She took on the challenge, put together her own weight loss plan and started the journey.  135 pounds later, she was deemed healthy enough to be tested as a donor and as expected she turned out to be a perfect match.  Surgery is scheduled for this fall.

You can read the full article by Ellen Tumposky and view a video clip at the ABC News website.

Great story, but in the grand scheme of things I don't think they put enough emphasis on the fact that Kari created her own fitness plan and successfully lost the weight without any fade diets, magic pills, etc, etc.  Plus it was not a lose-weight-quick scheme.  She did it right, by focusing on something that she could do on her own rather than relying on the hypes and promises of some paid service.

I am a big believer in doing it "on your own" as true weight loss success is a long-term endeavor that has to be maintained for the rest of your life.  Thus, you never want to be a slave to something you cannot comfortably manage forever. 

As pointed out in the article by Dr. R. Michael Hofmann, medical director of the Living Kidney Donor Program at the University of Wisconsin Hospital, others have lost weight to support an organ donation, but 80% of them will typically gain the weight back.  That is predictable as most people view weight loss as a short term endeavor - which is a sure fire recipe for failure!

Weight lost through unsustainable means is weight that will come back to haunt you in the long run!

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