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Dan Falcone

Type 2 Diabetes Success Story

Date Posted: Monday, February 19, 2024

Usually an upbeat and positive person, Dan Falcone struggled with his diagnosis of type 2 diabetes (T2D).  His family has a history of diabetes including his father and sister.  "It was overwhelming to hear at first and I didn't make the necessary changes right away," he admits. 

After ten years of oral diabetes medication, Dan's weight and A1c were both heading in the wrong direction.  He was prescribed insulin by his primary care physician in Ohio, where he resides, but did not feel he was receiving the support necessary to get healthy. 

Through a mutual childhood friend, Dan reconnected with his high school friend, David Harlan, MD.  Dr. Harlan is co-director of the UMass Chan Diabetes Center of Excellence, and is an internationally recognized diabetes endocrinologist & researcher.  After visiting Dr. Harlan in Worcester and following the treatment plan they agreed upon, Dan lost 60 lbs and his A1c fell from above 11% to 6.7%. He started a combination of oral medications and a weekly injection of dulaglutide (Trulicity) but stopped taking insulin!
Dan has made annual visits to Worcester and remains in constant contact with Dr. Harlan, who has kept Dan's primary care physician in Ohio aware of the diabetes care plan.   

“I upload my blood glucose numbers and weight to [Dr. Harlan] on a weekly basis,” says Falcone. “This way I stay in regular communication.”

Wearing a Fitbit, Dan is committed to walking at least 10,000 steps every day, one of the lifestyle changes he has made. “My weight loss has been slow and steady, which makes it sustainable.”  He's “enjoying the process” and can “feel a sense of accomplishment.”  On nice days he enjoys daily outdoor walks, and walks inside the mall on cold or rainy days.  He also has a treadmill at home.  

He is highly motivated by the progress he has achieved.  “I want to live,” he shared. "So I can continue spending time with my grandchildren."  In addition to his family, other motivating factors include his love of travekling and music.  Now retired, Dan looks forward to playing oldies tunes Saturday nights on a non-commercial radio station near his summer cabin in Michigan. 

Although he still enjoys his favorite foods, he does so in moderation. Dan reduced his meal portions to “one sensible plate” and is conscious about what he eats. “I’m Italian, so I like my spaghetti & meatballs but now I enjoy them once a month or every six weeks, as a treat.”                

“It’s possible to make smart choices at a restaurant, he said." Grilled food instead of fried. When I enjoy a cheat meal, I plan for it.”

Dan hopes his success will inspire others to make changes to improve their health. “If I can do it…anybody can!”

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