DEREK MITCHELL: I love 5Ks now. I do them any chance I get, which is probably part of
my craziness but… DEREK MITCHELL: Running across a finish line and getting the medal, it just, it makes the
entire past hour just kinda melt away. I mean, that, it’s just, it’s totally worth it.
Absolutely. COMM: Derek Mitchell might not look like the average athlete, but the 35 year old from
Kansas City is defying expectations. DEREK MITCHELL: As of today, I’ve finished 17 5Ks so far this year, my goal is to finish
30 by the end of the year. COMM: As well as raising money for charity, Derek is determined to reach a healthy weight. DEREK MITCHELL: My goal weight is 225lbs and so now I am at 564, as of this morning. I
wanna get down to where I’ve lost a total of 400lbs. And these pictures are where I’m
starting to get bigger and this was my, these are my high school senior pictures. COMM: But for Derek, controlling his weight is not straight forward. DEREK MITCHELL: About 6 years ago, I was diagnosed with a non-cancerous tumour on my pituitary
gland called a Prolactinoma. And this Prolactinoma, it secrets an enzyme called prolactin that
essentially blocks my body’s ability to produce testosterone. Well testosterone controls
energy levels, it controls mood and the biggest thing is it controls metabolism making it
extremely difficult for me to lose weight. COMM: While waiting for treatment to start working, Derek’s weight soared. DEREK MITCHELL: I didn’t really exercise. I mean, I spent a lot of time in front of
my computer playing games, I didn’t pay attention of what I ate, I just ate whatever
I wanted, sometimes it was pizza, a lot of fast food. In November 2014, I went to the doctor and
the scale said 625lbs and that’s when I knew that I just couldn’t wait anymore.
There was a lot of points where I did have some depression to an extent. COMM: Derek knew he had to change and help was at hand to get him going. DEREK MITCHELL: Person who first got me interested in running was actually my sister. She is
a marathon runner and a former roller derby girl. I started with a block, and the way
my mom puts it, when I got back she thought I was having a heart attack, but I got back
out there and just kept going at it, and pretty soon I was averaging around 2 miles a day. COMM: Further medical treatment could boost Derek’s metabolism, helping him lose weight
and cross the finish line quicker. DEREK MITCHELL: They are hoping to get me on testosterone replacement therapy to get
my testosterone levels back where they are supposed to be, and the doctor said once they
do that, it should be a lot easier for me to lose weight. I’d love to finish a marathon
someday. I’m actually shooting for Honolulu. COMM: A permanent reminder of his achievements, Derek’s been inked for every 5K run he’s completed. DEREK MITCHELL: So it has 37 little dots on there. Each pixel is a representation of each
5K that I’ve done so, which is now outdated as of this morning. It’s good that I have
a visual representation. COMM: And the marathon hopeful has already inspired others to follow in his footsteps. DEREK MITCHELL: One of my favourite things about this whole journey is just getting massages
from people who say they started doing 5Ks because they saw my story and everything.
To motivate other people, to show them that it doesn’t matter how big or slow you are. That actually helps motivate me to keep getting out there.