For Nanci, life has had its share of ups and downs, but her positive, “take control approach” has served her well through the roller coaster of life.
While growing up on a small dairy farm in rural New Jersey, Nanci struggled with being overweight for much of her life. Understanding that obesity runs in her family, she’d tried numerous strategies over the years to keep her weight under control without too much success.
After high school, Nanci couldn’t wait to get to college and see the world, which led her into a 30+-year career in healthcare that began after graduating as one of the first classes of physician assistant students (PA) in the country. In addition to her clinical career, she pursued a degree in public health and worked for years caring for the underserved. She got married, raised two boys, and loved balancing her two passions: a thriving career and wonderful family. All the while, her weight nagged at her—but her incredibly full life made it difficult to make time for change.
However, in 2013, an unexpected diagnosis gave her the motivation she needed to focus on losing the weight quickly. At age 59, Nanci learned she was in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. After serving as a physician assistant and healthcare professional for decades, Nanci knew that one thing she could do to improve her health was to finally lose her excess weight. She wasted no time taking action and had a gastric bypass surgery later that year, which helped her lose more than 100 pounds. At that time, she went from 228 pounds to 128 pounds and maintained a healthy weight for many years. She and her husband retired to the North Carolina coast and spent much of their time enjoying an active lifestyle of kayaking, boating, and just being outdoors.
As time crept on, though, Nanci’s health began to deteriorate and the weight started to come back. As her Parkinson’s disease progressed, she started to fall more frequently, which led to bone fractures that made it hard to stay active. By early 2021, Nanci was up to 184 pounds and wasn’t feeling like herself. She knew if she didn’t stop gaining weight, it would be harder to stay healthy while battling the later stages of Parkinson’s disease. That’s when Nanci decided to take control of her health once again. While she initially consulted with her bariatric surgeon to discuss a revision, her weight hadn’t gotten high enough to warrant an open surgical procedure, which also came with risks that Nanci didn’t like. She turned to the internet for options and stumbled upon True You Weight Loss and Dr. McGowan.
Nanci was thrilled with the idea of a non-surgical approach. As a fellow medical provider, her consultation with Dr. McGowan was like two colleagues speaking the same language. “We were able to have a fully open conversation about the benefits, risks, and what I could expect from the procedure. I was immediately at ease with Dr. McGowan’s expertise and training, and I felt confident he was the best provider to help me get my weight back under control. As a patient with Parkinson’s disease, I knew anything I could do to reduce the risk of complications was important. The endobariatric approach felt like a safe and effective option for me.”
The decision to have a gastric bypass revision immediately gave Nanci greater hope for the future. She felt rejuvenated and ready to take action. Unlike many—for Nanci, losing weight wasn’t about appearances—it was about taking control over an illness that often leaves patients feeling helpless. “I wanted to get back to my life and start doing the things I loved to do again. I wanted to regain as much control over my body as I could, given my diagnosis.”
And she did just that. Nanci and her husband drove up from the coast in March 2021 for her endoscopic gastric bypass procedure. She describes her procedure day as “fantastic,” and says that aside from the diet, she barely knew she’d even had a procedure by the next day. After having both bariatric surgery and an endobariatric procedure, Nanci describes the difference in recovery as “night and day.” She remembers a difficult recovery from her initial bariatric procedure back in 2013, including severe dehydration and feeling feeble for weeks. With the endoscopic revisional procedure, Nanci couldn’t believe how quickly she felt back to normal. “The True You team and the work they do is amazing. They answered all my questions, made sure I was fully prepared for procedure day, and have supported me every step of the way from start to finish.”
Since her procedure just over seven months ago, Nanci has already lost 44 pounds, is back to a healthy weight of 140, and is now focused on maintenance. More importantly, she hasn’t had a single fall since her procedure and she’s back to her active lifestyle.
“Today, I feel like a new person—I’m even taking boxing classes, which have been proven to help patients with Parkinson’s. I know I wouldn’t be where I am without Dr. McGowan and his team. Sure, there are days when I wake up and wish I didn’t have Parkinson’s, but I’d much rather be staying active than just sitting around. I know that doing so will help me stay healthy for longer, and it feels great to get back to living again.”
Today, Nanci looks forward to spending more time on the water, taking overnight boat trips with friends, embarking on spa annual spa trips with her girlfriends, and enjoying the company of her husband, their two grown sons, and yellow lab. And, while she didn’t have this procedure for aesthetic reasons, she’s looking forward to getting dressed up for events at their local yacht club once again.
“After all this, I’m just trying to appreciate and enjoy each day as it comes. This procedure has made that possible for me, and I’m so grateful to True You Weight Loss and Dr. McGowan. I’m 67, I have Parkinson’s disease, and I am fortunate have an incredible life—I don’t think there are too many people who can say that, so I know I’m blessed,” Nanci concludes.