CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Thousands of people will take part in the Cooper River Bridge Run on Saturday, but for one Moncks Corner man, it will be a special journey. At one time, Bryan Ganey weighed nearly 600 pounds. He would eat junk food and binge-eat every chance he had until a near death experience two years ago.
"I don't know what I thought, I thought maybe one day at nearly 600 pounds that I would drop dead, that it would all be over," Ganey said.
Ganey is 39 and lucky to be alive. Just two years ago he was rushed to Trident Medical Center, unable to breathe.
"I got sick, I wound up in the hospital with what they call a pulmonary embolism blood clots in my logs and about one in four people the first symptom is sudden death," Ganey recalled.
Weighing 577 pounds, Ganey spent six days in the hospital. His dangerous eating habits started when he was a teenager eating several meals a day, usually fast food.
"I couldn't stay out of the restaurants stay out of the drive through, I have no self control when it comes to a fast food restaurant, a buffet," Ganey said.
He knew if he wanted to live, he'd have to make a drastic lifestyle change and it started by eating healthier.
"I eat a lot of oatmeal throughout the day sometimes, a lot of chicken breast, a lot of fruits and vegetables, a lot of green beans things like that," Ganey said.
He also started working out and just last year he entered in the Bridge Run.
"I always knew about the Bridge Run," he said. "I always knew people who did it, and I thought I want to do that I want to lose enough weight to go sign up for that and be a part of that. He finished the race in two hours and 48 minutes.
It's been two years since Ganey was taken to the hospital. He now weighs an amazing 287 pounds and his motivation to lose his weight came from within.
"I think that if people would realize they can do it themselves, have that believe in yourself then I think that they would be alright," Ganey said. "Nothing is going to fix your life except you."
Ganey is also participating in this year Bridge Run. He says he's hoping to run this year in the event instead of walking it like he did last year. He says he's looking at drastically improving his time. You can follow his personal experience on his blog at ganey.com