Valley man who shed hundreds of pounds inspires others

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Pasquale Brocco has been raising money online for the surgery he needs to remove 30 pounds of excess skin on his body after getting into shape.

On Monday, his doctor -- a plastic surgeon in Scottsdale -- offered to cover the costs of that operation.

"He's excited about the surgery. I'm excited about the surgery," said Dr. Remus Repta, MD.

"We do a lot of weight loss surgery here. but it's tilted towards women. So him in particular, being a male -- but more importantly, his physique -- he has, you know, he's almost like a bodybuilder."

"At this point, you know, just big muscles everywhere and lean," Repta said.

"I'm excited to modify and reinvent the skin loss, skin-removal surgery to fit his body physique, you know, because there's an opportunity there to hide the scars differently when there are muscles that are showing. So he's excited. I'm excited. We'll see where it gets us."

People have donated more than $1,900 to Brocco's GoFundMe page. Dr. Repta says Brocco will just need to pay that amount, and he'll cover the rest.

The operation costs about $42,000. Dr. Repta initially offered to do it for about half that price.

Brocco lost the weight on his own by eating healthier and constantly working out. He talked to Fox 10's Marcy Jones on Friday about his weight loss journey:

"I just threw everything out in my house. And I said, every time I want to eat, I'll walk to the store and get each and every meal," Brocco said.

"I used to walk a mile to Walmart and a mile home, cook my food, and when my next meal came, I would do it again. I would do it three to four times a day," he said.

Brocco's weight loss journey began when a doctor recommended gastric bypass surgery. But in order to get it, Brocco needed to lose weight.

"Basically, I was told I was on my death bed, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, anything you can name, I probably had," he said.

A couple of years later, Brocco shed 330 pounds -- without going under the knife.

Brocco's story has been viewed nearly 800,000 times on the FOX 10 Phoenix Facebook page and shared nearly 7,000 times. Many people offering their words of encouragement and saying Brocco has inspired them to get fit.

"I figure if I came from where I was -- totally morbidly-obese to a professional athlete -- it'll be just an amazing story for everyone to get more motivated."