Hello from the Greater Philadelphia Area!  My name is Cheryl Gunter, and I am one of the thousands of patients whose lives have been blessed by access to bariatric surgery – a lifechanging process that enhances our ability to become the very best we can be.

 

I have decided to participate in the ASMBS Walk from Obesity for some very special reasons:

 

Reason #1:  I will walk because I easily can! What a joy it is to be able to walk without dreading becoming tired after even a short distance.  What a joy it is to be able to spend an entire day sightseeing in my favorite locales and focusing on the experience rather than on the aching feet.  What a joy it is to be able to walk and to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, whether on a fast errand or a leisurely stroll.  My “Walk from Obesity” will take place at the Heinz National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday afternoon, September 25, and I plan to enjoy every step! If you are in the area, please come to walk beside me!  

 

Reason #2:  I will walk because I am a credentialed health care professional who appreciates the need for expansion of our knowledge base with increased quantity and quality of evidence to inform our clinical decisions.   My career path has allowed me to be a clinical practitioner, an academic and clinical educator, a clinical scholar, and an academic and clinical administrator.  Because my health status is now the best that it has ever been, I am able to promote the idea of “health” in all its dimensions better than ever before.   The funds raised from the walk will support research that will promote prevention of and effective intervention for the condition of obesity.  I want to do what I can to address this public health concern.

 

Reason #3:  I will walk as part of my celebration of my 5-year anniversary of my bariatric surgery on December 16.  Yes, I have already started to count the days until this milestone event!  I am excited beyond words to reach this point.  While I was confident that the procedure would have a positive impact on my physical health, I did not anticipate the added benefits that I have experienced in the social, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of my life.  I have always experienced abundant blessings in my life, for which I am enormously thankful . . . but I have had even more doors open to me in the past five years to experience what life has to offer, and every day brings a new adventure.  

 

If you are interested in more details about my experience as a bariatric surgery patient, I invite you to read “Cheryl’s Story,” which is included in the “Patient Stories” of the Penn Medicine Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery website.  The link is:  https://www.pennmedicine.org/for-patients-and-visitors/find-a-program-or-service/bariatric-surgery/patient-stories/cheryl-story.

 

Thank you for reading my comments and supporting the 2021 ASMBS Walk from Obesity!  


UPDATE

 

I completed my walk at the Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in the afternoon of Saturday, September 25. What a lovely day . . . so lovely, in fact, that I completed the Lake Loop twice rather than once.  If you know me, you know that I love to create special (crazy) hats for special occasions.  Since the opportunity to walk for a good cause is a special occasion, I created a special “Bariatric Surgery” hat, complete with “Me: Before” and “Me: After” décor.   Here are some photos of my hat, as well as a photo of me with the turtles in the lake at the wildlife refuge.   What a peaceful, inspirational place!

 

My sincere thanks to my walking partner, my husband Paul Rabe, for not only his company but also for his support at all points before and after the transformational process of bariatric surgery.  And my special thanks to everyone who has contributed to my fundraising efforts during the past year, not only in financial ways but also in inspirational ways.  And, as always, my profound thanks to the members of the Bariatric Surgery Team at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for their excellent care as I have continued to become the healthiest possible person I can be.