By: Lad Makinde, Digital Director
When you’re in the marketing industry you aspire to work on exciting projects that bring tangible good to the far-reaching world around you. However, often times this is not the case as we are more consistently faced with the challenge of providing tangible opportunities for our clients to gain brand exposure and increase sales regardless of the exponential benefit to others. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s certainly not the “holy grail” that so many of us long for. That being said, every once in awhile the stars align and we find ourselves with opportunities that fit perfectly within a client’s goals and values and just so happen to benefit the “greater good” as well. Such was and is the case with a current assignment we’ve been working on the past few months for one of our clients, cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Remus Repta.
Dr. Repta is a great person to work with, he’s smart, savvy, and profoundly aware of himself and the industry that he’s in. However, what separates Dr. Repta from many others in his industry are his core values when it comes to patient care and well being. No exaggeration, since day one of our partnership Dr. Repta has made it very clear that he will always go above and beyond not only for his patients, but for prospective patients as well to ensure that they receive the best advice and care possible. I’ve personally seen him take the time to answer questions from individuals who have no intention of choosing him for their surgical procedures. I’ve also seen him regularly give advice and referrals to people from other countries who simply want his opinion. Long story short the man lives out what he talks and other than the fact that he is a tremendous surgeon, I’d argue that in an industry cluttered with vanity, his unique differentiator is the fact that he genuinely cares more about people than he does about notoriety or money.
So let’s rewind back to a few months ago, when our social media team stumbled across the inspirational story of a young woman in New Zealand who had been “fat-shamed” online by people who did not believe her incredible weight loss journey was authentic. The woman, Simone Pretscherer, a 24-year-old makeup artist from New Zealand, had decided in August of 2014 that she wanted to turn her life around. At the time of her decision she weighed 372 lbs. To ensure extra accountability Simone decided to journal her experience online by creating a Facebook page she named “Simone’s Journey to Health“. Each week she would update the page with images of her progress, as well as her struggles and fears as she attempted to turn her life around. With consistent effort, an unbreakable will, and a little help from gastric bypass surgery, Simone was able to lose a whopping 190 lbs. in a little over 9 months and that’s when the online trolling and hate started.
As we all know people can be very brazen and bold online, and unfortunately, for Simone this was exactly the case. Her transformation was so drastic that many people began calling her a fraud on social media. Things got so out of hand the 24-year-old decided she had to do something, enough was enough. She had come too far to allow insecure people to knock her down, so she decided to address the hate straight on. She posted the picture below and within a few days it had gone viral. In fact, within a few weeks hundreds of news and media publications began running the story including Mashable, The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, and the Daily Mail to name a few.
Moved by the unbelievably positive response and support she’d received for her courageous move, Simone decided to start a “Give a Little” fund me page to help raise money for the skin surgery she had been hoping to have as a result of her extreme weight loss. Unbeknownst to her, while the story was in its early phases and all this was going on, we at knoodle decided to passed it along to Dr. Repta. When Dr. Repta heard about Simone he decided he’d be willing to help her if she was willing to let him.
“I was amazed by Simone’s honesty and courage. Her willingness to share her experiences with the world crossed cultural boundaries and I admired her boldness and tenacity,” Dr. Repta remarked.
We orchestrated a Skype call with the two and almost immediately it was apparent that they were a match made in heaven. The kind hearted plastic surgeon looking to lend a helping hand and the determined millennial make-up artist looking to make the most of life while inspiring others and proving the haters wrong. After a few weeks of working out the details it was decided that Simone would come to Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday, September 12 and Dr. Repta would perform her surgery on Tuesday, September 15.
During consultations with Simone, it was also agreed that Dr. Repta would perform the Panniculectomy, the procedure to remove excess skin from the abdomen, as well as a Tummy Tuck, Breast Lift, and Breast Augmentation. However, based on his expertise and his desire to ensure Simone the best results possible, Dr. Repta also decided that he would throw in a “Bra-Line Back Lift” a procedure to help tighten the loose skin around the chest and bra areas. It is a procedure that he pioneered and published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal back in 2008.
As we draw near to the actual date of Simone’s arrival to the valley of the sun, there’s one thing that’s very clear to all of us who have had the pleasure of being involved in this journey; there are few things better than seeing good things come to those who genuinely deserve it and it feels really really great to be a part of that.