Irene is one of my dearest friends. I’ve written about how the relationship she has with her husband revolutionized my way of thinking about partnerships and romance, and together, they are two of the best parents I know. Irene is one of the best people I know, and I know a lot of good people!
A while back, she wrote an essay about how weight and weight issues affect her health and her life, and her writing put her in the top 6 out of over a thousand essays received. Now, she is a finalist in a contest to win lap-band surgery. We have the opportunity to help her, and she has asked if we could go and vote for her at the contest website.
She emailed me Monday and said,
At the beginning of the year, the local center for bariatric surgery had sent out emails for a contest. They were going to give away two lap-band surgeries, complete with lifetime follow up and everything. They wanted an essay about how obesity effects my life. So I figured, “why not? What’s the worst that can happen? It would be a good writing exercise.”
So I did it and sent it in. I didn’t think anything of it for months.
So I get a call Monday–that I was a finalist and I needed to go in Thursday for photos and a consultation.
I’ll be honest. I thought at first that they were just calling entrants to see if they could hard sell the procedure. I already knew my insurance would not cover it and [with my daughter preparing for] college that I could never afford $16k.
Lane, I’m a finalist. They chose six people out of 1100 entries. I have a one in three chance of winning this contest????
In her essay, Irene says, “There are very few aspects of my life that are not touched, in some way, by my obesity. I feel as if the fat is a wall, isolating me from the world. I want to do things, but I am either physically incapable or I am ashamed. As the pounds have piled on, my health has declined with hypertension, elevated cholesterol, sleep apnea, and joint pain. Because of my weight, I have fears of dying young and leaving my family with no support.”
“I long for the days of not being judged for my weight. I long for the days of not taking medication. I long for the days of being active. I would like to regain control of my life, and to become an enthusiastic and outgoing participant in life.”
This is from a woman who walked the 3-Day with a concussion. From a woman who works in one of the highest stress industries in the US. From a woman who is always willing to visit Sponge-o-rama with excited tourists, no matter how many times she has seen the termite riddled corpses of deep sea divers.
I want Irene to be her happiest!