Calderon, 46, said he viewed his participation in the research as a way to help current and future diabetics, including families such as his where it has been passed down through generations. If it improves people’s lives, he said, it will be worth it.
Mata, who had 60 percent of her mesenteric fat removed, has seen even more dramatic changes a month out from her surgery.
Previously, her blood sugar was in the high 200s, at one point climbing to 499. Now, it is in the low 100s, reaching a maximum of 150.
Her appetite has changed, too. She becomes full faster and no longer craves sugar. Greasy and fried foods no longer sit well with her.
Mata expects to be weaned off her medications soon. She hopes the procedure can someday benefit her children and grandchildren, if they are ever diagnosed.
“For me, personally, it’s a lifesaver, because I never even thought I could get those numbers that low,” she said.
“You can change your life.”