Hatteberg's People - Wade Brodin

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On Hatteberg’s People, Wade Brodin of Wichita took his diagnosis of Diabetes to heart. He followed the doctor’s orders and he started his exercise program by walking. But the walking turned into so much more.

“It was fun. It got so, if I didn’t walk, I wasn’t as happy.”

On the dirt roads around Wichita, (“There’s another one.”) Wade Brodin is a familiar sight.

“Yes, definitely.”

He began taking long walks, when at 240 pounds he was told he had diabetes.

“I was a little worried.”

So the walking began and then something else happened.

“I decided to keep track of how many cans I found, what day it was, where I walked.”

Now, one thing to know about Wade, he worked for Boeing for 34 years and was a lead mechanical engineer, with the last years of his career working on Air Force One. So, he is meticulous in the detail of his life including keeping track of the cans.

“It got to be like a research project. I wanted to know how many cans there were per mile of road in Sedgwick County.”

So he kept these incredible daily records of the cans he found, where he found them.

“Over the last two years, I’ve now crossed the 19,000 can mark.”

He knows that on average there are 108 cans per mile of road. 3.9 pounds of aluminum in that mile and because recycling 21 12 oz cans saves a gallon of gas, his figures show he has save 837 gallons and some pounds.

“I was 240 and I’m 206 now.”

Then while doing this ---

(Sound of can being crunched)

He found other things along the road.

“Anything shiny represents aluminum cans, so I notice shiny things. This is sealed box of cigars….a cell phone…a plate….a rubber ducky….a stocking cap, looks pretty nice.”

But what’s really nice is that Wade Brodin found a way to control his diabetes, to recycle, to lose weight, and to put his engineering background to use.

“Mentally, I have a better attitude, I’m lighter and I have more energy and it makes a big difference in how people perceive Wichita when they are driving down the road, if it is clean or not clean.”


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