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My 4 children and I in 2004, aren't they an attractive bunch!

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My precious 3 yr old granddaughter A'Nyah Marie and I at Kennywood Amusement Park in August of 2008

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Hello All, my name is Dana and I have an interesting story that I am certain that some will identify with - not all, but certainly some of you are in a somewhat similar situation as I am. I have always been a large person, even as a child. I suffered a brain injury at the age of 34 that left me partially paralyzed and unable to walk. I was in a coma for 42 days and on life support. I was the mother of 4 children with the oldest just turning 14 two days before I became hospitalized and my youngest a set of 5 yr old twins, with a 6 yr old, too. At the time, I was working full-time and being a full-time mom. I was hospitalized from October 20, 1997 until June 23, 1998. I left the rehab hospital walking 100 ft with a brace and walker and 279 pounds. In June of 1999 I suffered a 3rd degree burn on my paralyzed leg and could not wear my bracing and stopped walking because of the pain from the burn and my left leg deformed because I did not wear my bracing . I had corrective orthopedic surgery in October of 2001 to repair my left ankle and achilles tendon to allow me to stand on my left leg again, The surgery was a complete success but the cast rubbed 2 of my 8 incisions raw and opened them to infection and as a result of the soft tissue injury, I developed lymphedema in both of my legs and my incisions reopened. I had a skin graft to close the wound in 2002 and because of post surgical swelling, the skin graft sloughed off. I have had many treatments for my legs over the last 6 yrs since the surgery and gained over 100 pounds to an all time high of 394 pounds on August 6, when I had gastric bypass surgery. Some people have accused me of taking the easy way to losing the weight or "cheating". The surgery I had is similar to having open heart surgery - does that sound easy to you? The surgery is definitely a tool but I still had to make life changes but with the tool that the surgery has given me I am able to make better choices for my life and how I want to live it! It has made it easier to move around after I lost the initial 70 pounds but it is still a daily choice to eat right, exercise and motivate myself to make a change in what I do. I am a mother of 4 and a grandma of 1 with 1 on the way any day. I am a poetess, playwrite, author, advocate for the disabled, student, volunteer and many other things. I like to stay busy and encourage others to reach their full potential. I am born again and living for the Lord and really want to get the rest of the weight off so that I can be healthier. I look forward to meeting more nice folks like the ones that I have connected with already. Peace and blessings to all!

Member Since: 1/10/2008

Fitness Minutes: 61

My Goals:
My long term weight loss goal is another 100 pounds and keep up my strength training to maximize my potential

My Program:
I eat a high protein, low fat calorie restricted diet. I do strength training and cardio training

Personal Information:
I live in Pittsburgh, PA the home of the Magnificent Steelers! I am 44 yrs young. I am a mother of 4 children age 24, 17 and 16 yr old twins. I also have a gorgeous 2 yr old granddaughter named A'Nyah Marie, she is the light of my life and I intend on getting to see and spoil the rest of my grandchildren. (getting healthier to live a long time).

Other Information:
I love to encourage people by telling them that there is no obstacle to large to overcome and no problem to big to deal with, also there is no disability that cannot be dealt with. It is not a disability at all- because "disability" actually means the

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 Pounds lost: 43.9 
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