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Now he eats right, plays tennis and hockey, walks the two miles home from work and takes 12 flights of stairs to his apartment.

“I look at this as a second chance at life,” he said. “It’s been liberating.”

Tamikka McCray, 39, who also lives in New York and works for the city’s Human Resources Administration, also had success from her surgery a year and a half ago. When she left the hospital, her diabetes had disappeared before any major weight loss had a chance to occur.

“That was the crazy part,” she said. “I didn’t understand that when they came in and they checked it. My sugars were normal.” She added: “I left the hospital with no medication. And I haven’t been on anything since.”

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AP video journalist Ted Shaffrey in New York contributed to this report.

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Online:

Surgery explainer: http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/gastric.htm(hash)SurgAdult

Body Mass Index calculator: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/bminojs.htm

Heart meeting: http://www.cardiosource.org

New England Journal: http://www.nejm.org

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Marilynn Marchione can be followed at http://twitter.com/MMarchioneAP