Lehigh Valley

Former 377-pound Northampton man to run Boston Marathon

NORTHAMPTON, Pa. - Caleb Oliver, a 38-year-old brewery mechanic living in Northampton, can remember the first time he saw 377 pounds on his scale.

"At first, I thought the scale was busted. There's no way I'm almost 400 pounds!" he exclaimed.

But he was eating more than he was exercising. Oliver says he was scared.

"My blood pressure was skyrocketing. I was not sleeping very well. Sleep apnea was taking its toll. I would be falling asleep the whole way driving home. I'd be back and forth between the rumble strips," Oliver said.

So five or six years ago, he tried losing weight on his own.

"I lost 65 pounds the first time then gained it all back. Then I lost 85 pounds and I gained it all back," he said.

Searching for answers, he turned to Dr. Maher El Chaar, a Bariatric Surgeon at St. Luke's University Health Network who specializes in weight loss.

 "Caleb's case was interesting because his BMI (body mass index) was very high and he was a very young patient and he was interested in a significant amount of weight loss," Chaar said.

After preliminary testing, Caleb underwent gastric bypass surgery. Down from 377 pounds to 241 and feeling like he can achieve anything.

"I can do all the stuff outside that I really love to do," Oliver said.

One thing he never dreamed of doing is running a marathon. On Monday, he'll be doing just that in Boston.

"I'm not looking to break records. I just want to finish it and I don't want to die. That's my goals," he said.

"Can you imagine, knowing where this journey started, what that feeling is going to be like should you cross the finish line?" asked 69 News Reporter Josh Rultenberg.

"I can imagine it's gonna be awesome but I can't wait to actually experience it...I'm excited, nervous...I just hope to experience that feeling," Oliver said.

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