Ed Guillen is the first to admit he hasn't led the most active lifestyle.
“Pretty sedentary,” he said. “Actually, I'd say that’s an understatement.”
At one point the 5’ 10” software engineer's weight climbed to 280 pounds. Then, one day last year, Guillen got some news that forced him to take a good look at himself.
“It made me do some soul searching,” he said. “I had to make a decision that I needed to change my lifestyle.”
Guillen's mom needed a kidney transplant. She had just retired and was facing the rest of her life tied to a dialysis machine. Her son was a perfect match...except for one thing.
“When I called the transplant clinic to proceed with testing, they asked me about my height and weight, and that's when I found out about the body mass requirements,” he said.
Guillen was in a predicament facing a growing number of Americans. They are considered too fat to donate much needed organs. Transplant centers don't usually take kidneys or other vital organs from obese people for fear they themselves might develop health problems later on linked to their weight. An overweight person who donates a kidney might end up needing a kidney later on. There are also concerns about weight leading to complications on the operating table.
Guillen knew he had to do something. He grabbed his bike and started riding. He began eating right. In less than 9 months he lost 90 pounds.
His mom proved to be the ultimate inspiration to get healthy so he could make her life better, not to mention his own.
The transplant happened in April. Mom and son are the healthiest they’ve been in years. Guillen says, “
“Everything has turned out great,” Guillen said. “I would absolutely do it all over again.”