In 2008, I used to weigh 425 pounds. My daughter, Jessie-Anna Starnes, she was nine years old, she died of a brain aneurysm. But about a month and a half before she died, she asked me, she said, "Daddy, I really wish you would lose weight and get healthy." And I said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah," I gave her, I told her that answer and I figured I had plenty of time. Well, a month and a half later, our daughter died of a brain aneurysm, and now, this is the seventh anniversary in 2015, of her death, and we were very fortunate enough to be able to donate her organs, and there are seven people alive today that had the gift of life through that organ donations.
To honor Jessie’s, her donations, but also my commitment to her, to go from four hundred twenty five pounds to an Iron Man.
I’m also doing this for all fallen law enforcement officers that have died in the line of duty.
Another reason I’m doing this is for all the donor parents who chose to make that decision to donate life, and what a greater gift, that their children live on through others?
I’ve made healthier choices, I’ve lost to date a hundred fifty four pounds.
It feels great. If you told me I would be fifty one years old this month, and you told me I’d be training for three sports, if you’d have told me that a year ago I’d have probably locked you up.
I’m very proud of where I’m at, but I’m still a work in progress.
I always try to take a negative and turn it into a positive. That’s like what we did with the organ donations. You know, we took our tradedy, and turned it into someone else’s triumph.
Right here, on my road ID bracelet, I had a little saying put on there, and it says: "Never give up for Jessie".
This is the best I can do, is to honor that commitment.