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Type 2 Diabetes Success Story: Dan Falcone

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Dan Falcone, usually a cheerful and positive person, was struggling with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes (T2D). His family has a history of diabetes, including his father and sister. “At first I was overwhelmed when I heard about it and couldn’t make the necessary changes right away,” he admits.

After 10 years oral diabetes drugs, Dan’s weight and A1c were both pointing in the wrong direction. He was prescribed insulin by his doctor in his home state of Ohio, but he didn’t feel like he was getting the support he needed to get healthy.

Through a mutual childhood friend, Dan reunites with his high school friend. Dr. David Harlan. Dr. Harlan is co-director of the University of Massachusetts Chan Diabetes Center of Excellence and an internationally recognized diabetes endocrinologist and researcher. After visiting Dr. Harlan in Worcester and following the treatment plan they agreed upon, Dan lost 60 pounds and lost 60 pounds. A1c This fell from over 11% to 6.7%. He started a combination of oral medications and weekly injections of dulaglutide (Trulicity), but stopped taking insulin.
Dan visits Worcester every year and is in constant contact with Dr. Harlan, who keeps Dan’s doctor in Ohio informed of his diabetes treatment plan.

“Blood sugar level and weight [Dr. Harlan] Week by week,” Falcone said. “This way we can maintain regular communication.”

Dan wears a Fitbit and commits to walking at least 10,000 steps each day. This is his one of the lifestyle changes he has made. “My weight loss has been slow and steady, which makes it sustainable.” He is “enjoying the process” and “feeling a sense of accomplishment.” I enjoy walking outdoors every day when the weather is nice, and walking around the mall on cold or rainy days. He also has a treadmill at his house.

He is highly motivated by the progress he has made. “I want to live,” he said. “That way I can continue to spend time with my grandchildren.” In addition to his family, other motivating factors include a love of travel and music. Now retired, Dan enjoys playing oldies on Saturday nights at a nonprofit radio station near his summer cabin in Michigan.

He still enjoys his favorite foods, but in moderation. Dan is conscious of what he eats, cutting down on portions to “one sensible plate.” “I’m Italian, so I like spaghetti and meatballs, but now I enjoy them once a month or once every six months as a treat.”

“He said you can make smart choices at restaurants: Grill food instead of frying it. That’s what I plan on doing when I enjoy a cheat meal.”

Dan hopes his success inspires others to make changes to improve their health. “If I can do it…anyone can!”

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