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Leveraging loss


Dieter raising money for hospital foundation

Max Coleman, owner of Bitterroot Valley Exit Realty, Exit Realty of Montana and the Farm to Table restaurant in Hamilton, is challenging the community to join him in his own “wellness challenge” by pledging money for every pound he loses as he tries to reach a year-end goal of 256 pounds. The money will go to the Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital’s Daly Hospital Foundation’s Power of Health Wellness Education Fund. Coleman is pictured with Ron Kullick, Daly Hospital Foundation president. Michael Howell photo.

By Michael Howell

Max Coleman has a way of responding to challenges and a way of turning things around and issuing challenges of his own. His latest challenge is one facing many Americans. It’s called the ‘battle of the bulge’. In this case, weighing in at 337 pounds at the time, the challenge for Coleman was significant. It meant shedding over eighty pounds. Not an easy thing to do in anybody’s book.

The story of this challenge, however, goes back to a previous one. About six years ago Coleman was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He rose to the challenge and following successful surgery has been cancer-free since then. Coleman said that his urologist, Dr. Carl Westenfeller, who also happens to be his cycling buddy, at the end of a ride one day noted how much Coleman was struggling to peddle his 337-pound body around.

“He reminded me that it was the five-year mark on my brush with cancer and said, ‘You need to honor this opportunity,’”, said Coleman. And that’s how one challenge can lead to another.

Coleman said that a number of factors probably played a role in the steady weight gain that had slowly crept over him. He said stress of any kind can easily lead to overeating. Death or illness in the family, environmental factors, depression, all can play a role.

So Coleman took on the challenge. He got a thorough examination and, based on the analysis, arrived at 256 pounds as his optimum weight and decided to go for it. He sought professional help to devise a customized wellness program to meet his goal, including medical supervision, a personal trainer and a dietitian.

He has received help and encouragement from friends and business colleagues, including Steve Morris, President of Exit Realty International, who wants Max to succeed and who pledged $5,000 to Max if he achieves his goal of weighing in at no more than 256 pounds on December 31, 2011.

That support and pledge from Morris gave Coleman the idea of how to turn this challenge around, as he is prone to do. And having long supported the Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital Foundation, he saw in that organization’s Power of Health Wellness Education Fund a good way to challenge the entire community to get involved. So now Coleman has pledged $5,000 to the Foundation’s fund and is challenging the community to follow up.

The Fund will be used to help pay for community programs and educational opportunities sponsored by Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital on a variety of health-related topics such as the recent Women’s Health Symposium. To help spread the wellness word, Coleman is encouraging business associates, friends and neighbors to support the effort by pledging $1, $5, $10 or more for each pound Max drops by the end of this year. A specific gift amount would also be welcomed. He would like to raise $25,000 by the end of this year to make Ravalli County a healthier place.

Coleman’s got to lose another thirty pounds in the next two months. You can make a pledge and follow Max’s progress on line at His progress will also be posted on the Foundation Facebook page. Your support gift can also be made by calling Jessica at 375-4764 or you can mail your support gift to the Daly Hospital Foundation, 1200 Westwood Drive, Hamilton MT 59840. The Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable organization. All gifts are eligible as a tax-deductible donation.

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