I am the father of four and a husband, and I’ve worked at US Foods as a pricing analyst for seven years. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a little over six years ago. I remember doing a blood glucose test for the first time at my doctor’s office, and mine came back over 300 mg/dL. I found out that a normal reading was under 125 mg/dL. I thought, "Wow. I guess that's it. I've just been sentenced for the rest of my life, and I'm going to have to find a way to deal with it." It wasn't even a month later that we switched over into putting insulin into my regimen. “Insulin” was a scarier word to me than “diabetes.”
The financial impact of treating my diabetes was significant. US Foods has great benefits, but there was still an out-of-pocket expense for my diabetes medications. I was spending almost $500 a month just to manage my own health through these pharmaceuticals. I wanted to take the financial burden of keeping my life going away from our family.
When US Foods told us they were covering a diabetes reversal treatment called Virta, I was so excited to learn what Virta was. When I heard "reverse diabetes," it brought me all the way back to that first moment when I had to tell my kids that I just got diagnosed with this, and how fearful they were in that moment. I said to myself that I would fully commit to doing something to take that fear away.
I've been on Virta now for about six months. In just four days I was already off of insulin. After 7 days, I was able to stop taking glipizide.
I was 330 pounds when I started Virta. Now I’m under 280, and I couldn't be happier to say that being under 250 pounds is a real goal for me for this year. I can't tell you how thankful I am that US Foods gave me the opportunity to work with Virta towards this goal. Before Virta, it didn't seem like anyone was interested in reversing my diabetes. They were only interested in managing my diabetes. And now, I am proud to say that my diabetes has been reversed!
At work, it used to be a struggle just to focus and to do the work that I was hired for. I was on so many medications, and I felt terrible. Now, I'm able to focus more. I'm able to participate better in meetings. I'm able to give more creative input. I feel that I am a better employee, simply because I have better health.
I went to see my HR rep just to tell them, "I need you to know that this Virta thing that US Foods is doing for us is a miracle. It's given me back a quality of life that I never thought I would be able to enjoy again."
The Virta app is an incredibly helpful and useful tool because it helps me understand what's going on with my body, and it allows me to communicate with my Virta provider and health coach. It would be impossible for anybody to do this without assistance. I have so much help and support, from both the wonderful providers and health coaches at Virta that guide me in the right direction, and from my family, who has signed on to be my support system. The fact that my provider and health coach are continuously overseeing my progress and communicating with me makes me feel like we’re all in this together. It's incredibly confidence-inspiring.
People at work come up to me all the time and say, "Wow, Kevin! You look different. Your face looks different." I've shrunk down four or five different pants sizes. I look like a changed person to people. They ask, “What's your secret?” A question I get a lot that I find very funny is, “What are you taking?” And I tell them, “It's what I'm not taking. I'm not taking my diabetes medications anymore.”
I run around with my kids a lot more than I did six months ago. I feel like I'm 15 years younger. Before Virta, I thought of my diabetes as a life sentence. Now that I know it’s not, I'm going to be part of Virta for the rest of my life.