Aug 26 2020
Last year, I had the privilege of meeting a really great guy named Brad - Brad Brewer.He had been struggling with his weight and by the time we connected, Brad was in the hospital with an infection that was really kicking his butt. For 45 days, he fought along side the medical team at the hospital in Festus. When he got to the hospital, he weighed over 700 pounds, and when he was discharged, he lost so much water weight, he was down to 550 pounds!It was a very proud day for everyone when he was finally discharged. The staff was so touched and inspired by Brad that they got him a pair of boxing gloves. Everyone wrote words of encouragement and love on the gloves and they sent the gloves home with him. I want to tell you some more about Brad because he in an amazing inspiration to me: Brad is an accomplished and gifted writerHe holds a doctorate and actually wrote the class syllabus at University of Mississippi!He’s a genius, he’s encouraging – he’s always generous with a smile and quick to make you feel comfortable. This last time he got sick, he didn’t go to Festus, he went to a different one. Because he’s obese and because he doesn’t have health insurance, it was like pulling teeth to get anyone to take him seriously. Nobody could see the person behind the weight – they would not look past his obesity to see Doctor Brad Brewer. He was finally able to get a healthcare advocate, and after that it was a bunch of ‘hurry up and wait’ while some “POWER” decided if he was worth the effort or not. They booted him out of the hospital as soon as they could. I can’t give you the name of the hospital, for liability reasons, but we all know that type of treatment because most of us have dealt with it on some level. (pregnant pause) 2 days ago, my friend, my amazing brother Brad, passed away. We are all devastated. . . . He was in his home, he woke up with the chills because he had been battling a staph infection. He told his girlfriend that he was having a tough time catching his breath. And in a flash he was gone. Brad died while waiting on paperwork and red tape to determine if he should be granted health insurance due to his condition. Its sickening, its dismissive and it’s cruel to treat people like they are less than human! There’s not a person out there that hasn’t been damaged at some point in their lives and they now have self-destructive tendencies – HELLO! --- Smoking, alcohol, drugs, gambling, porn – all of which have organizations dedicated to breaking those cycles and improving lives through positive and permanent change. But the obese community? Please! We get dismissed, we get called names and looked at like we are nothing but the scum of the earth! Obesity is the last socially acceptable prejudice! And I am so SICK of these barriers and discriminate attituded because we are obese! We are NOT caricatures of your prejudicial ideals – We are PEOPLE for crying out loud! Doctors and Healthy and Fitness industry: Why did Brad sit in his wheelchair and die while you all took your sweet time and debated his worth? He wanted to continue to fight for his life! He sought support and resources and was effectively slapped away. Obese community: Take yourself seriously, YOUR LIFE IS AT STAKEDrop the excuses, quit crying about it! There is no time and no room for a pity party. Quit focusing on the ‘why’ you got here and instead focus on the HOW you’re going to get out of it! Stop looking backward, so you can look forward!Start saying to yourself and to the world – I am here, I am human and I matter! Then start acting like it!