It feels as though the tragic forest fire in Fort McMurray happened ages ago, but one heartwarming story has brought the event back to life thanks to one man named Tony Bussey and a massive lifestyle change.
Bussey was just your average joe working at a tire shop at Suncor Energy when the wildfire evacuation began two years ago in May. When busses arrived on location to help evacuate employees and others around the area, Bussey was pulled from the back of the line up to the front because of his size. At the time of the wildfire, Bussey was 567 pounds.
Once he was on the bus, the volunteers didn't place anybody beside him, Bussey recalls the event saying "they put me at the front of the bus, but they wouldn't sit anybody next to me. Nobody could fit there. I was spilling over into the next seat."
The exact same situation happened on the plane leaving, where Bussey once again took up two seats. He says it was these moments of guilt, thinking "there's somebody left behind because I'm too fat to sit next to" that motivated him to start his weight loss journey after landing that night in Edmonton.
Bussey started small at first, take 5 minute long walks than grew from 5 to 10 and then 10 to 15. He then cut out items like junk food and soda out of his diet and replaced them with a low carb and high protein lifestyle. The following September he had lost a whopping 100 pounds.
Since then he has dropped over half of his previous body weight, going from 567 pounds to 240. Bussey notes "I haven't felt this good in years, I used to dream about this moment." Considering it's easier for him to get around, he has been able to travel more and visit his Newfoundland home.
While the fire was a result of chaos and destruction, that Bussey is well aware of, he notes that ultimately the event "saved my life. I've gained a whole new one."