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$2,395 of $8,000
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30 donations

This fundraiser ended on 12/16/10

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1997 I weighed approx. 900lbs. Over the course of 13 years to reach my goal, struggling with my weight even with surgery help. I have finall

All updates are at the top from newest to oldest. My story follows the updates.    ***Update 8-5-10*** The $650 Donation from Dewayne Flowers (myself) is the cash from the Hooter's Car Wash. We raised 680 total in about 3 hours. We had about $30 in expenses for the day. I deposited the cash into the account yesterday. I was not given the "comment" field when trying to donate. So here it is. I would like to thank everyone who came by Hooters and donated and got their car washed. Thanks to Chris Chaos and Rock 103 and all my family and friends. We will be adding the money for the Raffle as soon as the raffle is over as well. Stay tuned. Go see the pictures and videos from the car wash. More to come. :)   ****Update 7-22-10**** Hooters of Columbus, GA is having a car wash on my behalf on 7-31-10 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. Information can be seen at the facebook event. Hope to see you there. http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=134717036568448   ***Update 7-12-2010*** I was fortunate enough to have our paper The Columbus Ledger Enquirer run a feature about my weight loss including video. You can see it on the links tab of go here: *** The link to the article is dead. It has been archived. If you want to read it you have to search for my name and pay to read the archived story. www.l-e-o.com However the video of the interview is seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CWMy1mqRks  ***Update 6-28-10 I have had a donation of 2K from outside of giveforward. So my goal is whatever the give forward amount is, plus $2,000. Much thanks to all. No words can express my gratitude.  ***Many will dismiss this as a vanity cosmetic surgery and ignore it all together. While I understand that, please at least read before you make your decision. I have set all my pride aside to even be here. Some of you seeing this know me and my story, most of you don't. I have been a big guy all my life. In 1997 I peaked at approximately 900lbs. No, I was not bed ridden. I, although facing extreme social scrutiny, was a full-time college student and had a full-time job.  I was going downhill with my health and uphill with my weight at an incredible rate and was lucky enough to have family that cared and an insurance provider under my mother's plan that covered the bariatric surgery I went under in Lanett, AL with Doctor Sanchez.  Dr. Sanchez appealed on my behalf with the insurance company to finally get approval for my Vertical Banded Gastroplasty. He was to be the doctor to remove my excess skin as well. Over the course of 10 years I fought with my weight. Always losing, but sometimes slow, sometimes leveling off. You can say what you want. From weight loss, smoking (which I do not and never have), to biting your nails, if your mind isn't ready you will never succeed.   I also understand the growing resentment toward people who opt for surgery to help with weight rather than just getting off their butt. To most it is an easy out and others, like myself, it was the only way. I had to lose weight before I could put my body under the strain of an exercise routine. After going through the surgery and knowing then what I know now about everything that comes with having a modified stomach would I still do it? If I could physically do it without? No. If I NEEDED it...yes. However, here I am 13 years and 650lbs. lighter. I now weigh 245 and I am 6' 5". I am where I want to be. I used to wear an 11X shirt and a size 72 Pant. I was a large as it got before it became custom. I now wear 1x-2x shirts and 38 pants. I have extreme excess skin on my chest, stomach, arms, legs and midsection ranging from 35-50lbs of skin or more to be removed. That will put me at 6' 5" 200lbs. or so. An ideal height and weight. I need surgery and have insurance that will NOT cover it. The excess skin is almost as unbearable as the weight was. I will probably need 6 surgeries. As I said at the beginning, many will dismiss this as a vanity cosmetic surgery and ignore it all together. It is not about vanity. Well, let me correct myself. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t, but vanity is only an underlying part of it and represents about 10% of my desire to have this done. This is more of a need. The skin causes back problems, rashes, infections and other issues that hold me back during the day. I would love to jog with my significant other, but I can't due to the skin. I get hot and sweat when I shouldn't. Clothes are almost impossible to find that fit. Getting comfortable sitting or lying down is a task. Vanity? Not so much. I just wasn't to be normal and comfortable. The first quote I have is $7,837 for the stomach area and the arms. I probably have close to $25,000 or more worth of surgeries to have. However I am just working in stages. It is like weight loss. Don't set out to lose 150lbs. Just shoot for 20 at a time. I went to surgeons in Columbus, GA and at Emory in Atlanta, GA. All of which stated that insurance sometimes covered the abdomen portion but not the arms, legs, chest, etc.  They submitted and we were rejected. One of my rejection letters can be found in the links portion of my profile. Or below: www.fleshandcolor.com/medical/letterp1.jpg Emory submitted an appeal on my behalf and it was rejected as well. The quote above is the quote from Emory. The Dr. actually reduced his fees for my cause. They had a 90 Day expiration on them, however I am sure I can speak with him again and start this process with an 8K goal set. I am not rich, I make average money and like most have just above average bills. There is no insurance currently due to my recent divorce so appealing to the insurance again is out. People often congratulate me on my weight loss and ask if I feel better. The answer is often, sometimes. And they are surprised. I find myself debating sometimes if how I was versus how I am now is better. Now, obviously, however, each version of me has taken a significant toll on me. I am lucky enough to have family, friends and wonderful fiancee who love me unconditionally. I would just like to interact with them more with out physical pain or social embarrassment. My bucket list is simple. Your donation will not go towards someone who will turn into extreme adventurer and go get killed. I climbed a tree for the first time in 25 years not long ago. I want to start riding a bike again as I did so enjoy it as a child. I have someone who is enjoying me experiencing all the things that are firsts to me that may seem simple to others. I love her. She loves to run. Help me run with her and not hurt? **Update** Sherrie and I were engaged on July 7th, on her birthday. :)   Thank you.    
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