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Thanks to Comcast NBCUniversal, I can now keep up with my six grandkids

April 14, 2020
April 16, 2020

By Johnny, on Virta for 5 months

I was diagnosed with prediabetes in 2016, but I stayed in denial for years. I didn’t have any symptoms at the time, and my doctor prescribed metformin, so I figured I could still eat whatever I wanted as long as I took my pills.

For the next three years, I didn’t think too much about type 2 diabetes and lived my life as normal. My wife said I should find a way to stop the metformin because of some effects it had on my stomach, and though I agreed, I didn't feel an urgency to do anything about it. 

I am a field technician for Comcast NBCUniversal, so my job is very physical and requires a lot of energy throughout the day. In the summer of 2019, I was suddenly hit with some disturbing physical issues. My energy levels dropped, and I was left feeling lethargic all day long. I was thirsty all the time, even after drinking more than enough water, which would cause me to make frequent, and very inconvenient, bathroom visits while I was out on jobs. Nightly trips to the bathroom also caused me to sleep poorly.

I felt so bad that I decided to see my doctor, who told me that I now had full-blown type 2 diabetes. My blood sugar was around 320 mg/dL, and my A1c was somewhere above 7.0%. She told me that type 2 diabetes was not reversible and that I needed to take insulin. I absolutely did not want to inject myself everyday, so I begged her for a different solution. She reluctantly agreed, upping my dosage of metformin instead to the maximum amount per day. She also added glipizide pills to my daily routine. So there I was, being told my diabetes was a life sentence and also taking more medication than ever before. It all felt like a punch to the gut.

A few weeks later, I shared this news with a coworker, and he told me about how Comcast NBCUniversal fully covers Virta, a treatment that could help me reverse type 2 diabetes. This came as a total surprise on two levels. First, I had never heard of Virta, or heard any mention of Comcast NBCUniversal fully covering a diabetes reversal treatment. And second, my doctor had said that diabetes was irreversible. Even just the idea that type 2 diabetes could be reversed gave me hope, and I knew I had to look into Virta immediately.

When I got home that night, I logged into my benefits portal and found Virta listed as a fully covered benefit. I was lucky that my coworker had told me about it because I would not have thought to even look for something like this. As I did more research on Virta and watched videos of countless other patients who had reversed their diabetes on Virta, I thought that this could be worth trying if I wanted to avoid insulin injections.

Five months later, I can confirm that this was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and one of the best benefits that Comcast NBCUniversal offers for employees like me. I have lost 45 pounds, my average fasting blood glucose is now under 100 mg/dL, and my A1c dropped to 5.9% in follow-up labs. 

With all these improvements, I’m excited to get back to some things that I haven’t been able to do in the past, like exercise. As a Desert Storm Navy Veteran, I used to work out a lot, and I can’t wait to use all of my extra energy at the gym. Even without exercise, though, family members have noticed a change in my body. Recently, I saw some relatives who said that I don’t look like the same person from even just a few months ago. It’s true, and I don’t feel like the same person, either.

My motivation comes from remembering why I am doing the Virta treatment, which is for my family. I am only 55 years old with 6 grandkids, and I am now more able to do the things I want to do with the people I love. Before Virta, I used to be tired all the time, and ready to fall asleep at any moment. Since joining Virta, my energy seems to have no limits. Now, from the time I get up to when I get home, I’m good to go! On a recent trip to Disneyland, I was able to stay alongside the rest of the family. That would not have been possible before Virta.

I am so grateful that Comcast NBCUniversal fully covers this employee benefit, and I wish that more employees are aware of it. I am happy and proud to tell all of my coworkers about Virta at every opportunity.  I can only imagine the number of people whose lives would be changed if a wide announcement were made that Comcast NBCUniversal fully covers Virta’s type 2 diabetes reversal treatment. Imagine how many more parents and grandparents out there like me could enjoy keeping up with their kids and grandkids.



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