On September 6th, 2014, Joel Kane recorded a video about a promise: “I promise to my friends and family that I will take better care of myself.” Joel was born with a congenital heart condition that made exercise difficult ever since he was a child. He felt like he didn’t have control of his life, so he would find comfort in something he could control: Eating.
Joel was 420lbs at the time this video was recorded. His food addiction had spiraled out of control, but he said it wasn’t fair to his friends and family. He said “There is no option.” If he wanted to be around to help people who needed him, the change must happen now.
In less than 4 months following this recording, Joel lost over 45 lbs. He changed his diet. He started going on long walks. No food after 6pm. He was on a good path. Then… one day Joel started experiencing shortness of breath.
On December 30th, 2014, Joel was admitted to the hospital. At age 29, Joel would enter open heart surgery. They found a 7mm aneurysm in his heart. He spent 34 days in a hospital bed and 11 days in a medically induced coma. Joel woke up on January 15th, 2015 and now lives with a pace maker. He will take blood thinners for the rest of his life.
None of this changes Joel’s promise. He was committed to improving his health before and will continue that fight today. It is now harder than ever for Joel to get healthy… but that will not be an excuse for Joel. A promise is a promise. He remains committed to his recovery and the fulfillment of a lifelong commitment.
Today is Joel Kane’s 30th birthday. In the following 30 days, we are asking all supporters of because I said I would to go to the gym, take a picture and post it with #GymForJoel. Your “gym” might be a long walk, lifting weights, team sports, yoga or anything that keeps you active and healthy. Remember that we only have one life to live. Joel isn’t the type of person who wants to be showered in gifts and letters. He just wants you to remember: take care of yourself.
Get better, Joel. Fight the good fight.