A Health Transformation

In May 2018, Scott Baird received a diagnosis that would change his life. Prostate cancer. Prior to the diagnosis, Scott hadn’t given much thought to his health. But that didn’t mean he was living a healthy lifestyle either.

“I was overweight and physically unfit,” Scott said. “I had been obese most of my life having made poor food and lifestyle choices. I couldn’t even tie my own shoes, I was so unfit.”

The cancer diagnosis gave him the extra motivation he needed to focus on his health. His first goal: beat cancer. Because of his weight and enlarged prostate, Scott couldn’t have surgery on his prostate. Instead, he began taking hormones to decrease his testosterone level. For two months, Scott had to self-catheter every six hours. In August 2018, Scott underwent Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate (HoLEP), which is a type of laser surgery used to treat obstruction of urine flow. The surgery was successful and the catheter was no longer necessary. Next, were 42 radiation therapy treatments at St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea. Finally, Scott’s cancer was in remission.  

“I was discharged from radiation therapy, and had mixed emotions,” Scott said. “I was grateful to have beat the cancer but was also totally lost. I didn’t know what to do next. I was scared the cancer would return. I was anxious because I knew I wasn’t in good health. I needed to gain control of my life.”

During Scott’s cancer treatment, he learned that he was pre-diabetic. His A1C was 6.1 compared to a normal score of less than 5.7. At 6.5, someone is considered diabetic. Scott was headed in that direction.

Scott also learned that he had previously had a silent heart attack. His grandchildren had been born in the past few years and he wanted to see them grow up. Something had to change.

Around that time, Scott saw an advertisement for St. Joe Chelsea’s Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). He joined the group and committed to the year-long lifestyle and evidence-based program.

The class helped Scott integrate exercise into his routine, keep a food journal and stick to 1500 calories per day. On his own, Scott decided to change his diet to mostly plant-based with no sugar, red meat or dairy. Scott has become a regular cardio-drummer, going to classes twice a day, two days a week.

The results have been staggering – Scott is down 40 pounds, his A1C has dropped significantly and he has a new outlook on life.

“I’m the happiest I have ever been,” Scott said. “With my weight loss, I have more energy and have experienced a new calmness, confidence and joy. This has been a true transformation.”

Although the year-long DPP class is ending soon, Scott plans to continue with the lessons he learned in the class – and stay in touch with some of his fellow classmates. He has also joined another local group where he weighs in weekly and holds himself and others accountable for healthy habits.

“Change is hard,” Scott said. “It wasn’t easy to commit to the DPP class or make these changes, but I needed to do something. DPP was that something – it gave me the education I needed, the tools to make the change and control of my life for really the first time ever.”

Now Scott is all about convincing others to take control of their health – he tells everyone he knows about DPP and his transformation. And even more importantly, he’s healthier and excited about the future.

Learn more about St. Joe’s Diabetes Prevention Program.

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