In 2011 we both had an over whelming desire to help a young man we barely knew. Edwin, a shy 20 year old coworker of Debbie's, was carrying a heavy burden on his young frame.
We would never walk by a person who was drowning or walk past a lost child wandering the streets. Edwin was both "lost and drowning" under the deadly weight of 469 lbs. We offered to help him get control of his life by giving him the tools to get to a healthy weight.
We were confident we could help Edwin. Debbie had recently won all of "The Biggest Loser" contests her coworkers put together, just by educating herself about nutrition. Along with J.T.'s years of physical training experience, we could surely handle the sizable challenge that was ahead of us. We knew education way the key. We spent time with Edwin at work, took him to doctors and met him at his home where he was accompanied by a small family unit and a family friend, Maggie.
Maggie became one of Edwin's biggest supporters and joined his weight loss journey. Once he was cleared to workout by doctors, we started walking, then slowly developed a physical workout plan 3-4 days a week. Maggie had the inner strength and unyielding drive that kept them both on track. Edwin was committed to eating the foods we told him to eat, doing all the workouts we asked him to do. Focusing on one day at a time, Maggie lost 80 lbs and Edwin loss an astounding 140 lbs in a short, 7 month time period!
You never know where a path may lead you in life. By helping Edwin and Maggie we have in turned helped ourselves to discover we have a great love and passion for teaching fitness and nutrition. With the soaring rates of childhood obesity and other life threatening preventable diseases, we have turned our focus toward teaching kids good fitness and nutritional habits for life. With that, Everything Counts for Kids (EC Kids) was born!
JT has over 35 years of teaching kids gymnastics, dance and musical Theatre. He has a BFA in Acting from the University of Connecticut. His favorite roles include Grover on "Sesame Street Live", Pria the Elephant on Fox TV's "Rimba's Island" and a Pirate in Steven Spielberg's classic movie "Hook. He has done over 2300 performances in the Broadway show "Miss Saigon". JT has taught African American Experience in the Arts, Jazz Dance at UCONN and the University of Maryland as well as a Kinesiology course at Cal State Dominguez Hills University . JT has worked as a Stunt Coordinator for Honey Nut Cheerios and the 50th anniversary Rolling Stones Grrrr video. He is also the Acrobatics coach for the nephew of pop stars Janet & Micheal Jackson, Austin Brown. His daughter, Yana, is even more talented than he is.
Debbie, a mother of three, has been involved in child development for the past 35 years. Hundreds of children have passed through her organized community events focusing on inclusion, self expression and developing team building skills. She volunteered for eleven years as a Girl Scout leader expanding her troop to include girls of all ages and abilities creating a unique troop of 45 strong. Debbie thanks her kids Frances, Michael and Chris for their encouragement and loving support along the way.