Diane Hawk Surgery Project
Buffalo Walking Woman
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This site is now a historical record of Diane Hawk's extraordinary journey toward health. As you read the pages be aware that Diane Hawk is now alive, healthy, and living a life of purpose and productivity. Follow the steps of her journey . . .
Diane Hawk 100 Pounds Later!
Diabetes Gone, Life Changed
News Release: February 25, 2004
Published in the The Kingfisher Times and Free Press
With almost 25% of her pre-surgery body weight
reduced, Diane Hawk is grateful. "The support and contributions from
this community saved my life. I feel like a new person again. Without loving
friends, family, and my Lighthouse Church family, I don't know where I would
be right now."
Diane is referring to the many Kingfisher citizens who helped to raise the $20,000 needed to fund Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery in mid-September 2003. Diane, a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma and Kingfisher resident, weighed over 400 pounds. Due to the severity of her diabetes and an increasing lack of mobility, she injected herself with increasing doses of insulin and was confined to an oversized wheelchair. For almost two years Diane appealed to her insurance company to pay for the medically necessary gastric bypass procedure, but they refused.
Providentially, the Bariatric Institute of Oklahoma (BIO) invited Diane to participate in a special study to determine the effects of gastric bypass surgery on morbidly obese diabetic Native American Women. The BIO accepted donations on Diane Hawk’s behalf to offset the cost of the surgeon, hospital, anesthetic, pulmonary studies, specialized intensive care, and physical therapy needed before and after the surgery.
Donations by the people of Kingfisher came to Diane’s rescue, helping to raise the money needed to offset the entire cost of her care. Some donations came from out of state, while Indian Taco Sales, a Mexican Dinner, and other fundraisers were held locally throughout 2003.
The entire project was stressful for Diane's family. "There were some scares and doubts about my coming through this surgery, but now they can see that it was for the best," she says.
It is now February and Diane has lost 100 pounds since the surgery. She no longer needs insulin and maintains a blood sugar level of 95 - 105 without medication. Blood pressure medicine is a thing of the past. "Now the only problem I have is what to wear," she laughs. "My clothes that used to be too tight are now too loose!"
Although Diane laughs and smiles about her "new life", it has not been an easy journey. "The surgery has completely changed my eating. Before I thought I had to eat a lot to live - but you don't. I had to learn that I can eat just enough to suffice - just enough to live on."
She has a long way to go. Diane is still
unable to drive, and her knees still bother her. But she is out of her wheelchair now, and uses a
walker to get around. "Without going to church and relying on my Creator, I
would not have been able to do this. He made all the contacts, He made all
the hearts move to help me, and He showed me that this is what I needed to
live, because I tried everything else."
Before the surgery, Diane was often depressed and the future looked bleak. But now she has a different outlook. "I plan to continue to lose weight, to get away from the walker, and get back to work in serving the church and community in any way I can."
As she goes forward into this new stage of her life, Diane keeps looking upward. "I've been on many journeys and this is the one the Lord wants me to take. I not sure what it is, but there's a plan somewhere and He will show it to me when the time is right."
For more information about Diane's surgery and recovery, please see her website at buffalowalkingwoman.com.
- Virginia Giglio, Ph.D., Pictures and Article for Kingfisher Times and Free Press
Diane at Kingfisher Chamber of Commerce banquet with friends Lesleigh Gregory and JoAnn Rother. Diane had lost only about 75 pounds at this point, but was out and about without her wheelchair!
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