My name is Carlos Solis, I am 49 years old, Hispanic, and have been a California public school teacher for almost 14 years. A few years ago, I was diagnosed as having Type 2 Diabetes. I come from a family of diabetics including aunts, uncles and more significantly, my mom and older brother, Manuel. My mom passed away several years ago and my brother is currently suffering from complications of kidney failure. He is on dialysis 3 days a week and has had several surgeries to help him get through. He recently has lost sight from his left eye and has very limited vision in his right. My doctor has recommended that I get busy with exercising and weight loss in order to help prevent any further damage to my body. So, I have joined a gym, work out regularly and am watching what I eat. It's been hard making this lifestyle change, but I need to do it. I have made a goal for next year. I want to lose 50 pounds by the time I turn 50 years of age next October 11, 2012. I call it "Losing 50 by 50." I'm just about a third of the way towards meeting my goal. I would greatly appreciate being selected to be part of the CNN Triathlon team and finishing my goal with them. As mentioned in the video, being on the team would mean a lot to me. Studies have shown that diabetes is on the rise in elementary school aged children. I want to be able to show my students that it is possible for a regular guy to fight this disease and win! I have fought many battles in my life but this one is very personal. It would be a great honor for me to represent all those who have suffered or are currently suffering from this disease, particularly the Hispanic population, and show that the 'diabetes family chain' can be broken with a lifestyle change, determination, and support. Although I have never trained for a triathlon, I feel I have what it takes to complete it. The closest thing I think I've done as far as physically preparing for something was completing boot camp when I was in the Air Force. I want to thank CNN very much for allowing me the opportunity to apply.
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