26 February 2006
I'd like to thank those of you who came along to Victoria Gardens in East Perth on Sunday to help me celebrate my loss of 101.1kg (223lbs). It was a toasty warm day, reaching a maximum temperature of 36.6oC (98oF) mid afternoon; Under the broad shady trees where we congregated however, it was very pleasant. It wasn't just the weather that was pleasant, either; The company was great too.
Leon, my surgeon, arrived early bearing gifts. He'd put together a poster board tracking my progress, with my before photos, that horror gym shot of me on the treadmill and his most recent photo from last December. He also brought along a backpack stuffed with 50kg of gym weights.
He titled this "The Rob Morgan Challenge" and everyone was offered the opportunity to see what it felt like to bear half the extra weight I'd carried. As first cab off the rank, let me tell you, it was bloody heavy! Standing up with it, I staggered around a little before returning it to the table. Hillary tried it too and could barely move with it. She told me later that her legs were jelly after the attempt, and she was walking home afterwards!
Leon had to leave early but before he left, he asked me to call everyone together because he wanted to say a few words. He spoke of my first visit to his surgery, how when I'd first come to see him I was the largest patient he'd seen. How the only patient he'd ever operated on at anywhere approaching my weight had died on the table. He also paid tribute to my determination and congratulated me on my success. Thanks Leon! I responded by thanking everyone for joining me in the celebration; As I said on the day, it's rare that people from all facets of your life come together, so I savoured the occasion. This day was about celebrating my success, but it was also about thanking the people who've supported me on the way. Thank you all!
I'd like to thank everyone who helped out on the day, but more particularly I'd like to say a special thank you to Heather and Ludovic for all their help in bringing the day together. Heather was a great help in planning the day and Ludovic, as usual, did a stellar job with the barbecue and brought along a score of folding chairs and a trestle table which were great. Both of them worked tirelessly throughout the day making food happen while I was swanning around talking to people. I owe both of you guys a huge vote of thanks for your efforts on my behalf.
Since Sunday, everyone I've spoken to about the day has particularly commented on how much they enjoyed it and what a great vibe there was. My response to this is that these are my friends and family. While you don't choose your family, I wouldn't choose a different one even if I could. And my friends are my friends for a reason!
Huge Hugs to you all!