Get to Know Us – Chris Gallagher
1. How did you become involved with the OAC?
As the lobbyist for the ASMBS, I came to know OAC President and CEO Joe Nadglowski and learn about all the passionate people who tirelessly work on a daily basis to speak up for those affected by overweight and obesity.
2. Have you personally dealt with obesity, and if so, how has it impacted your life?
When I first started working with the OAC, I was a little overweight. However, throughout the last six years, I have seen my weight steadily grow due to family issues, poor eating habits, and bouts of depression. As a family with members affected by mental illness, we often struggle with just surviving the day – with little time left, or motivation for, cooking healthy meals and regular exercise. Now that I find myself affected by obesity, I struggle with the thought of “will I ever get back to a healthier weight?” Will I be able to feel good about my body again?
3. What is your favorite part about being a staff member of the OAC?
I really value the family that OAC is – everyone pulling together to help so many people that struggle with their weight and health.
4. Why is the OAC valuable in advocating for obesity awareness?
The OAC is the only real voice of the patient in the advocacy arena. Our growing numbers – 50,000 strong – is starting to have an impact!
5. What is one major goal that you want to accomplish as a staff member?
Secure obesity treatment parity for those affected by this chronic disease
6. What is your favorite film?
Dead Poets Society
7. What is your fondest memory from this past year?
Taking around Maria Caprigno on Capitol Hill this Spring on the four-year anniversary of her surgery. I met Maria soon after she had surgery at Children’s Hospital when she was 14 years old and weighed 443 pounds. Throughout these past four years, I watched Maria grow from a shy little girl to a true advocacy force to be reckoned with. It always amazes me to see how transformative it can be when individuals can receive treatment to help them address a health issue that has such a profound impact on their quality of life.
8. If you could’ve had any career other than your current one, what would it have been?
Elementary School Teacher
9. What is your favorite place to vacation?
Any place with a beach and the ocean
10. What is your most prized possession?
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Join us next time as we feature Lloyd Stegemann, MD, FASMBS, OAC Board Member!