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Reading Man Seeking Help After 300-Pound Weight Loss, Kidney Transplant

Emily Progin, PR & Social Media Coordinator / 800.642.8399

Release: Immediate


December 1 Bowling Fundraiser at Heister Lanes Will Show Support

READING, Pa.—On Saturday, December 1, the Reading community will come together for a bowling event at Heister Lanes (801 Heister Lane) to help 31-year-old Jonathan Arroyo, who is fighting for financial stability following a lifesaving kidney transplant.

At age 10, Jonathan began rapidly gaining weight, reaching as high as 523 pounds. He saw multiple doctors and underwent surgeries to fight the complications of kidney conditions and diabetes and spent six weeks in a children’s rehabilitation hospital. When he returned, he endured shame and ridicule from peers—classmates called him “Diaper Dan” based on his medical challenges. He started at-home tutoring, but his weight continued to climb.

Gastric bypass presented a new start; today, Jonathan weighs just 191 pounds. But the weight loss did not eradicate his kidney issues. Jonathan spent nine years receiving dialysis. In November 2010, his body entered kidney failure. In September of this year, he received a kidney transplant.

Jonathan’s mother says his health struggles and the emotional impact of his experiences with bullying did not deter his fighting spirit. Now 31, he is a graduate of Muhlenberg High School and Muhlenberg Vo-tech. While the transplant presented Jonathan with a second chance at life, the Reading resident and his family are still facing lifelong health and financial challenges, including the exorbitant out-of-pocket costs of post-transplant medication he will need to take every day for the rest of his life. He is fundraising with the national nonprofit Help Hope Live at

Participate in Jonathan’s recovery journey on December 1 at Heister Lanes from 1 to 3 p.m. Bowl for just $15 per person. For more information on the venue, call 610.929.3673. If you have questions about Jonathan’s fundraising efforts, email or call mom Sheila Arroyo: or 484.219.7663. Funds raised will be managed by the nonprofit Help Hope Live in honor of Jonathan Arroyo.

Can’t make it, but want to help? Make a donation in honor of Jonathan at or by calling 800.642.8399. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, and all funds raised will be used to offset medical expenses via Help Hope Live’s Mid-Atlantic Transplant Fund.

Help Hope Live is a national nonprofit that specializes in engaging communities in fundraising campaigns for people who need a transplant or are affected by a catastrophic injury or illness. Since 1983, campaigns organized by Help Hope Live have raised over $135 million to pay patient expenses.  ###

Written by Emily Progin