I was born in Portland, Maine and went to a traditional Roman Catholic school, St. Patricks. In Kindergarten my mom always told me to treat girls like you treat your me. I would run around and kiss girls on cheek and I would tell them I love them. After getting kicked out of school for that very reason, to this day they still call me kissing bandit.
When I was 9 I was asked to audition to a children's theater of Maine, the oldest touring theater in the U.S.
With a singing and dancing role in a world premiere of Old Wamper, and from that point on, the entertainment bug had bit me.
In school, I did many reports on many famous circus producers such as the Ringling Brothers, and P.T. Barnum.
Little did I Know that was the start of my circus career. By age 10, I would spend every April vacation at the Cumberland County Civic Center, hanging out with the Mooris Family, who brought their beautiful elephant to town. For one week a year I would turn into a circus kid, with the rush of sawdust in my veins.
At age 14, my family fell apart, when my parents decided to get divorced. The final decision my mom and dad made before they separated would be that I was to be homeschooled, where I went on to graduate at age 16. It was that April during the Shrine Circus, that I joined the circus with the legendary Monte Carlo award winning trapeze family the Flying Espanas.
For the next 15 years' I traveled all around North America playing in every major city in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
In 2002, I had an opportunity to spend an exciting summer in one of Japans largest theme parks, as a celebrity featured performer at Toshiane In, located in Japan. Everything was looking up but once again tragedy rocked my world. In a few short years, I lost my grandparents and mentors Papa Espana, Dessi Espana, and finally my best friend and my father Timothy Ridge.
Following my fathers death, I left the circus and all of the magic behind, and at that moment it was time for me to take control of my life.
I moved back home to Rockland, Maine, however there were challenges, my dad being the great man he was, took care of everything for me, I did not know how to balance a check book, pay bills, and live a "normal" life. Living in the lobster capital of the world, I was surrounded by a community that knows how to come together and rally around someone that is need.
I was given the opportunity to create a video for the NBC hit tv show "The Biggest Loser."Due the video and the rapid popularity it gained I was given a Golden ticket to headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. During this process the sleepy lobster capital of the world rallied around me. When I did not make it on the show due to contracting reasons the town rallied behind me. I literally put my best foot forward and started walking. I was immediately offered free gym memberships, personal training and massage therapy with a host of other great sponsorships and opportunities from the people's kindness and willing to help. The most rewarding of all of this was the people that would come out and walk with me everyday, and the shop owners that would learn my schedule and come out to cheer me on.
However, after an accident I wound up tearing the meniscus in my knee, and once again depression kicked in, I gave up on myself, and slowly started to gain the weight back. Because of this, I started to run away from all of the problems and ended up leaving Rockland behind, returning to Orlando, FL.
In October of 2016, I retuned back to Wringley Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus to change my life. I realized that the constant change of jobs and shows never gave me the chance to have health insurance, returning to the circus for a long term position would give me health benefits and opportunity to recieve the tool that I desperately needed, Gastric Sleeve surgery.
Without notice just before my benefits would kick in, Kenneth Feld came to the greatest show on Earth to announce that he was closing the show in just a few short months; as heart breaking as this was, I was not going to let this effect me. I stay focused and was immediately offered a job as the marketing/promotional director for Carson & Barnes inter corporate office in Hugo, Oklahoma. As beautiful as it was waking up every morning to the beauty of the circus, I realized in June, I was not able to get the medical attention from the circus that I needed. So I decided to return home to Orlando. At this time, I started extensive research to get the Gastric Sleeve, at the average cost of $37,000 and no one willing to help, the only advice that I received at 589 lbs, I should go on disability and receive a check from the federal government. This was NOT an option for me. After sitting down with my close friends, and receiving their love and support I started doing more research on medical tourism. One name kept coming up in my searches. Dr. Sergio Quinones.
I know youre looking at me like I'm crazy right now, but with lots of friends in Mexico, and friends in the medical field in the US, we collectively came to the conclusion it was the safest option for me.
On September 4th 2017, I recieved the greatest gift I have ever gotten. Directly after the surgery, I am approaching the 200lb down mark.
It's because of the support that I receive from my friends and family and my new found positive outlook and immediate dismissal that I acheieve my daily, weekly, and life goals. Join me through heartache and pain, I hope I can inspire you to overcome your obstacles and help change your life.