John & Lisa's Skin Removal Surgery

We need your help! Between the two of us, we’ve lost 330 pounds, and because of such an extreme weight loss, we have a lot of extra skin. This can only be removed through surgery and we keep being told this surgery won’t be covered by insurance. Raising the 18,000 dollars needed for these surgeries would take us at least 5 years (and that’s if we were saving every penny). After being heavy all of our lives, we just want to finish our transformations and continue our healthy lives.

This excess skin is not just ugly, but it holds a lot of emotion behind it… I mean we are literally wearing the carcasses of our fat selves. It’s hard to look in the mirror after losing such an extreme amount of weight, and not feel confident or accomplished at all because you still can’t see your belly button. This also impacts our daily lives physically. Aside from our daily scrapes and rashes caused by this skin, it hinders us when we workout. To put it in John’s words, when we try to run “it feels like you’re being thwacked with a belt on each step.” If we don’t clean and maintain the folds on our body every day, some severe infections could occur, which not only would our effect our outside, but have the potential to infect our bloodstream as well.

John (lost 220 lbs): Approximately two and half years ago I was at my all-time heaviest. I was so big that the scale would error out on me instead of giving a measurement.  I was 24 and all of my friends were doing well for themselves. Getting married, getting promotions, buying houses. I was stuck. I had tried the dating scene, but it’s hard to find a date when you’re over 420lbs. In my friend circles I was known as “big John” or The Couch. It’s amazing the things you’ll put up with when your self-esteem is so low and you just want to be accepted. I realized I was going to die soon, unhappy and unfulfilled. The excess weight I had accumulated over the years was both a physical and mental anchor holding me back from accomplishing anything. I came to realize that if I ever wanted to have a fulfilling life I would have to make changes.  (John, at the start was a 6XL and a 54 pant size, and is now easily wearing his L and 32s.)

Lisa (lost 110 lbs): As soon as puberty hit, I ballooned. Every year, I would gain 10 to 15 pounds. I looked around and saw that most of my family was heavy, so I just accepted that I was going to be fat forever. I figured ‘what’s the point in trying if it won’t really change anything?’ There were enough times when I looked at my tear soaked face in the mirror, trying to convince myself I was pretty. Never being able to shop with my friends was heartbreaking: I couldn’t shop in the same stores they could, so I would just decline the offers to avoid feeling sad. The first sign I really knew I needed to change was when I went to the doctor and she spotted something that could point to pre-diabetes. I realized my eating habits were similar to a 10 year old who has the house to himself. (Lisa was a 2XL and her size 20s were getting tight on her. Now she is a S/M and size 8)

We are so lucky that we found each other and that we were able to make these changes together. But the two of us can’t pay for these surgeries by ourselves. After being heavy for our whole lives, we just want to close that chapter. We’ve worked so hard for years to get where we are and we’ve earned this. John has earned being able to take his shirt off at the pool. But despite weighing a normal amount now, he still can’t because of this skin. Please help. Anything you might have will get us one step closer to this goal.


Lisa Charlotte Berg 
Charter Township of Clinton, MI

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