Dawn needs your help

My rock bottom moment came when I was 35 years old living in my family home in Las Vegas.  My family is vacationing in Cali.  I turned down going because walking around is too difficult and when I sit down my body completely shuts down, I fall asleep, in order to save energy for when I need to walk.  My sis & brother in law are both trained chefs.  Our home has 2 large fridges, 2 large freezers and a kitchen pantry that is the size of most studio apartments in NYC.  I decide I need something to eat from the market. Most wouldn't 'think twice about a 3 block walk to the market but half way there I am unable to take another step.  My hips are screaming in excruciating pain, my heart exploding from my chest and I am completely out of breath.   After standing in the same spot for 50 minutes, unable to continue, I make the walk back home.   I collapse on the couch and completely break down.   Glancing around I see I am surrounded by family and friends who love me and they are watching me die.   I am dying.  No one is coming to save me.   I am dying.  I am the only one that can save me. 

A few months rolled by before my brother in law approached me with the Lap Band Weight Loss Surgery concept. It was new and experimental but with everything to lose keeping the weight, we decided to go for it. We scheduled surgery one week apart so my sister would be able to handle 2 patients recovery at home.  His surgery was a success.  Mine was not.  Surgeons informed me that I had the largest liver they had ever seen in a woman and that is was not safe to insert the Lap Band.  

For the first time ever in my life, I locked myself in the bedroom, completely devastated for a week.  I had spent the last YEAR preparing and was beyond frustrated...and angry

The only solution was too loose 30 lbs in 30 days. That would dramatically shrink my liver.  After a year of living in perpetual and continual anger and frustration, I made it happen by drinking only protein shakes.    No eating food, No chewing for 30 days.  Wow.. I could tell stories about the bizarre thoughts that occur when you do not chew.  Next time I guess.

The 30 days pass and my liver was tested, it had shrunk and I was immediately rushed into surgery.  The Band was inserted, successfully.  All my problems were over! Well, okay over the next 10 years, I walked the long journey to transform my health.  I literally walked off the 200lbs.  For the first time, I sat on the subway and my butt fit into the seat. My life was filled with firsts that I had never even considered.

In April 2016 I made a commitment to exercise every day and hired a personal trainer and emergency medicine nurse to guide me in my next steps. I eat every day why shouldn't I exercise every day.   I had never exercised before but I was determined to align my body with how I wanted to feel, strong and confident. I am happy to report that I've succeeded.  My body is strong. I am confident and I can throw around amps at Funkadelic Studios without skipping a beat, often much to the dismay of my millennial counterparts.  There is, however, I want to remove the excess skin to finish the feeling I desire of freedom.

I've received a tremendous amount of support from my traditional family.  My success is a reflection of their love and patience.  My extended family is holding me, inspiring me, driving me and motivating me daily to create the life I love.

I'm asking for your help.   I'm at the last stage of this journey.  Removing the excess skin.  The removal is not a cosmetic decision,  it feels it is no longer connected to my body and I should be able to pull down the zipper and step out of it. The discomfort of putting on and wearing the required under garments is enough to make a person mad.  It is hard to describe in words the discomfort and impact the 20 plus lbs of hanging skin have on me daily.

So,  I'm planning on a Full Body Lift.  It will cost about $60,000 there will be 3 surgeries over the course of a year.  The first is scheduled for the end of August, this will be my stomach, abdomen, and arms.  The second surgery is scheduled for the end of November and it is for my entire back and butt.  The last surgery is scheduled for February 2018 and will be thighs and boobs.  I am reaching out the community, as uncomfortable as it is, to help me get there. 

Thank you so much for reading, for your support and for taking the time to consider supporting me in any capacity. Know that I am forever grateful and will be happy to step into this next phase of my life.


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Dawn Orlando 
New York, NY
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