Derek Mitchell, a 500-lb man from Kansas City, Missouri, has committed to run at least one 5K race a month— not only to get in shape, but also to encourage other people to do the same. Fox 9 reported that since March, Mitchell has run 19 5Ks, during which his story has begun going viral.
According to Mitchell’s Facebook page, he began gaining weight when he was diagnosed with prolactinoma, a benign tumor on his pituitary gland that blocked testosterone production and secretes prolactin. While taking medication and undergoing testosterone therapy to treat the condition, Mitchell also set out to lose weight at age 34, when he weighed about 625 lbs.
"... It doesn't matter how big or slow, big or small or fast or slow that you are, that a finish is a finish. And that no matter how slow you go you are still lapping everybody who is still on the couch,” he said, according to Fox 9.
Mitchell started a GoFundMe page to raise $5,000 for his race entry fees. As of Wednesday afternoon, he had raised nearly $3,500.