LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) -- “You’re only as strong as your support network.”
We often hear that phrase from people who are going through hard times. Last fall when a Lincoln, Nebraska man heard devastating news on two fronts, his mother and sister helped to keep him accountable.
Lifestyle changes never come easy. For Chris Stone, it’s a matter of necessity.
“Biopsy came back and it was positive for cancer,” he said.
Hearing the word cancer, in this case prostate cancer, brought him to a class inside Nebraska Medicine’s Bariatrics Center.
The subject matter is weight loss.
“OK, let’s look at salt and sodium intake,” said medical nutrition therapist Nessie Ferguson, as she shared healthy eating advice with seven adults.
For many, it doesn’t make sense. What does having cancer and weight loss have to do with each other?
"It’s a lot to take in,” said Stone. “You’re told you have cancer and then told you need to lose a bunch of weight on top of it.”
“His doctor told him he needed to rapidly lose 50 pounds before even considering doing the surgery,” said Bariatric Physician Assistant Lauren White, “Because it’s an increased risk to your health if we do the surgery now.”
The 350-pound Stone has lost 70 pounds with the New Direction program at the hospital. His was a rapid weight loss program of a meal replacement diet monitored by doctors.
Because he’s lost so much weight, he’s ready for surgery.
Days before his appointment, he decided to celebrate.
“We’re having one last blast before surgery,” said his mother, Deb Price. “We’re headed to Vegas in the morning.”
“She’s been to every appointment with me since we found out,” said Stone. “And then she said, ‘Let’s get your sister involved. We’ll do it as a family thing.’"
“If we all did it together, it would benefit us individually,” said his mother. “But it would support Chris.”
Between the three of them, they’ve shed 170 pounds in three months.
“I’ve lost 60,” said his sister, Sonja Morgan.
The family used to be in the restaurant business.
They ran Kings Food Host USA, located across the country and in Canada.
While the restaurant is no longer around, its flavors are.
The family says Don and Millie’s restaurants are the only ones with their original recipes.
Because of their background, the healthier living learning curve has been steep.
As the family goes through the weight loss program, they also learn new ways to think of what they’re putting in their body for nutrition.
In addition to the surgery and weight loss, Chris Stone saw another benefit:
“We have been able to say no more insulin, no more oral medications for your diabetes,” said Physician Assistant White. “Keep doing what you’re doing because you’re a rock star.”
On Wednesday morning, Chris Stone had his surgery for prostate cancer, and is now recovering.