The Edmond Sun

September 14, 2013

Losing it to gain back his life

Kristine Meggenberg
Special to The Sun

EDMOND — David Brown, 43, is proving he is stronger than his heartbreaking story when he took the initiative to try out for “The Biggest Loser” to lose weight and gain back his life one pound at a time.

While Brown was attending Oklahoma City University, earning his communication degree, he married his first wife Andrea Brown at age 22. Just six months after they wed, his new bride had a seizure and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. They were relieved when her cancer went into remission and she became pregnant, but lost the baby in the third trimester. They went on to have two daughters together, but her cancer ultimately returned as stage 4 brain cancer and she passed away after her decade-long battle with the disease, leaving Brown with their two daughters then 4 and 6 years old.

Brown, of Edmond, married his second wife, Melissa Brown, on Nov. 5, 2004, and had this third daughter but had put on 200 pounds through his first wife’s battle with cancer and grieving his loss. At 409 pounds Brown is suffering with sleep apnea, high blood pressure, hypertension, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

“David took the initiative to try out for the Biggest Loser. It was shortly after he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and that diagnosis hit him pretty hard. That diagnosis was like a wake-up call that made him realize he was not winning this fight for his weight and health. He also wanted to keep a promise he had made to his first wife, Andrea, before she passed away, that he would always be there for his girls,” said Melissa Brown.

Brown found out about the Oklahoma City open casting call being held in early May from a friend and wanted to try out. The casting call was at Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City and there were thousands in attendance pining to reserve a spot on season 15 of “The Biggest Loser.” Brown filled out an application and waited in line. Eventually he was asked to sit in a group of potential contestants with a casting director.

While in the group Brown was asked to share his story and why he tried out be a contestant on the show. Brown’s response was “20 seconds of insane courage,” a reference from the movie “We Bought a Zoo” starring Matt Damon.

The full quote from the movie “We Bought a Zoo” that made a life changing impact on Brown is “You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

“Then one day, David received a call that told him he was invited to get on an airplane one week later, because they were considering him highly. He spent a couple of weeks in Los Angeles, meeting with doctors and producers before they finally told him he would be a contestant on the show. The next morning, he left straight to The Biggest Loser Ranch and he has been there ever since,” Melissa said.

Brown and his family have been blown away by the opportunity he has been given.  

“I hope he comes back feeling like he has a new passion for life, lots of energy, a much healthier David. We want him to be more active with us. We want him around to walk the girls down the aisle on their wedding day. I want to grow old with him and have lots of adventures along the way,” Melissa said.

Season 15 of The Biggest Loser premiers at 7 p.m. Oct. 8 on NBC. For more information, visit http://www.nbc.com/the-biggest-loser/.