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Dade

Ken and Austin

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Ken

Age: 49

Hometown: Pasadena, California

Occupation: Pastor

Ken struggled with weight his whole life, but became obese at the age of 20, and thinks that was largely due to emotional eating stemming from a difficult childhood. He was born in Canoga Park, California, and grew up in Page, Arizona with his parents and younger brother. He graduated from Bethany University in Santa Cruz, California with a bachelor's degree, and received a master's degree from Fuller Seminary in Pasadena. Ken's primary motivation for going on the show is his son, Austin. He says, "I don't want him to have to live his life with the same difficulties I have faced." He also wants to save his own life, especially after a near-death experience two years ago after which his health declined further, leaving him with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. He tried stomach stapling in 1989, which was revised to a gastric bypass in 1997, but neither was successful in helping him lose and keep off the weight. Married, 377 pounds and the father of three children, the 49-year-old pastor looks forward to playing softball and riding all the rides at Disneyland after he loses weight.

austin.jpg

Austin

Age:21

Hometown: Pasadena, California

Occupation: Radio board operator

Austin says he was always a heavy kid, and with parents and several family members who are obese, there was never any focus on healthy eating growing up. The oldest of three children, he was born in Redlands, California and raised in Pasadena, where he attended Pasadena City College to get a certificate in radio broadcasting. After nearly losing his father to a medical emergency, Austin decided to get healthy for himself, but also to become a good role model and motivator for others in his family struggling with health and weight issues. At 21 years old and 396 pounds, he suffers from sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and is pre-diabetic. After he loses weight, he looks forward to going on trips with friends, riding a rollercoaster, and not having to worry every time he goes out whether he will be able to fit in a restaurant booth or in a seat that won't break.

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So sad to see someone so young in such desperate trouble with their weight. Hope he can make the changes he needs to.

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It's sad to think that he wants to be able to ride a rollercoaster. It puts things into perspective about how little they are able to do.

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