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Medical Edge: Father and son create fitness program for those with special needs

Updated: Thursday, January 9 2014, 11:43 AM EST
CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- A father and son who just lost more than 200 pounds together say this is the year to have the whole family slim down. We share their inspiring story and why it has also become a new ministry for them to help others.
It's hard to believe that in just a few years Joshua Harris has gone from this to this, "I was 335 pounds, I was struggling with addictions and several problems and my life was pretty much in turmoil."

Joshua says that turmoil began to turn around shortly after his daughter Maddy was born with Down syndrome. He got sober, dropped 165 pounds, and made family, fitness and faith a priority. "It started with a decision and I needed to open my heart to change and I needed to let God do what he did to change me."

Joshua is now a personal trainer here at Gymbos personal training and fitness. His son, Vinney, has also signed on and he too has dropped "about 70 pounds. Seeing my dad make these changes in his life and far how he went, it definitely motivated me."

Joshua says it's been a long journey back, "but I stuck with it, it's the one thing I did."

Since then he's been able to take this ministry to a whole new level, he now not only works with people here who want to get in shape, he's expanded that ministry to help others with Down syndrome. He says, "I saw the way that Madeline changed my life, and just how special she was. I decided I wanted to do things, and I wanted to do things for people with Down syndrome, so people would do things for her and her joy would continue to spread in my life."

Joshua and Vinney now have a training program for Maddy and other adults and young people with Down syndrome or special needs.

They say the love for this little girl let them do a change of health and a change of heart. "I think God was looking for me, and found me, and completely took over and changed my life."

This new year the Harris family has a message for all of us. They've lost more than 200 pounds together by getting help for what they can change and giving up what they can't. "I tell Madeline every day, do your best, and let God do the rest, and that's what happened, I just did my best and God did the rest."

If you would like more information about this training program for people with special needs or group training you can call 513-551-9579. A trial class, if you'd like one, is free.

Medical Edge: Father and son create fitness program for those with special needs

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