Advisor Profile: Brad Linnenkamp

In 2017, Brad Linnenkamp, a member of our Consumer Advisory BoardBrad Linnenkamp pours popcorn from a bag into a bowl., got some bad news from his doctor. When they tested his blood glucose levels, he said, “I zoomed right into the diabetic range.” If his A1C count remained so high, he would need to take new medications and possibly insulin.

So he decided to take the doctor’s advice to “stop the pop.” He quit his longtime habit of drinking full-sugar soda pop every day, several times a day. “I didn’t want to be a pincushion, having to stab my fingers to test my blood,” he said.

When he was tested three months later, Brad’s blood count had fallen to pre-diabetic levels. Seeing those numbers change has also motivated him to eat better and to eat at home more often. He still drinks pop on occasion, but “it doesn’t taste the same.”

Brad owes some of his success to teamwork with his friend and colleague Stephanie Sanford, who is director of self-advocacy at the Self Advocate Coalition of Kansas (SACK), where Brad works.

“I told him I would support him by quitting something I enjoy,” Stephanie said. Her personal sacrifice was to quit adding sugar to her coffee. She still drinks coffee all day long (only fresh, whole-ground beans), but now she doesn’t miss the sugar – and to her surprise, she lost 24 pounds.  

Both Brad and Stephanie say that guilt was not part of their mutual support. They just kept each other accountable and stayed positive about making one change as often as they could. “You don’t have to have a huge goal to be successful,” noted Stephanie.

Thanks to Susan Palmer for the photo of Brad.


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