Battling Depression – Diabetic Since 1996 – Barry Hinkle’s Heart-Wrenching Body by Vi Success Story

An Amazing Mental & Physical Challenge as Told by Barry Hinkle!

Check out this incredible individual. It’s a long one but trust me you will appreciate it! We all have a why or a reason… we also may have many reasons for why we do what we do. Here is Barry’s story…

“I grew up kind of a geek. (Still am) I went through high school not a jock, but was on the math team, in National Honor society, Beta Club, Library Club (although I didn’t read books). As a geekster, I decided to go to college & be an electrical engineer.

I was following my plan & although I only needed like 12 hrs to get my degree, I decided to take off a semester for a break. I was bored & a few friends were delivering pizzas at Domino’s & were having fun doing it. So I did it too.

I became the best driver at that location breaking all records. The gm there talked me into management. I liked it a lot, seeing how to run a business & watch costs leading to profit. After about 4 months, I was doing such a good job I was promoted to gm of a store.

Again, I worked it & got record sales, profit etc. After a year or so, a new supervisor came in & ripped me for not having a can liner in a trash can way in the back of the store that we didn’t use. So I quit. My soon to be wife, Becky, was a gm at a different Dominos.

A friend had heard about that & called me saying he was with a new pizza place-Papa John’s & wanted me to come join him. I did as an assistant. Again, I knew what to do, work my butt off, treat customers good, make good pizzas, etc. So the store excelled.

One day, the owner, John, had a management party on his boat. He was asking each of us what we wanted to do in PJ. Some said they were happy in management, another wanted to supervise, I said I wanted to own my own store. He said “Let’s make it happen”.

We built my first store as a partnership with me 1/3 owner. Built it from scratch. We literally were building the counters, scrubbing floors etc to open it. I worked that store open to close 7 days/week for right at a year. Along with my wife, Becky, we worked the store & it did well of course as I knew hard work, customer service, good product quality would pay off. After that year, I decided to sell off my 1/3 & open my own store-100% mine, well ours, Becky & myself.

So in 1990, we opened our store. Built the business slowly, nobody had heard of Papa John’s. I literally walked our entire delivery area door-to-door handing out coupons to give us a try because I couldn’t afford any other advertising. We didn’t even have a sign for the first 4 months.

Also, it would get 120 degrees in the kitchen area because I couldn’t afford to get a bigger a/c unit. Again, I worked 125 hr weeks. Most of my wife’s family didn’t know I existed. I never went to any family functions due to working the store. A lot of people said I was stupid & crazy to work that much but I just kept on.

I knew it would eventually pay off. I remember having to hold my paycheck for 3 weeks so I could pay our suppliers. Things were tight at home financially but we never really got behind. We purchased our home on a contract for deed because we couldn’t get a mortgage financed.

Well, we just kept doing our thing-making good pizzas, running good service etc. In 1996, we purchased some land, built a strip center, & moved our store there. 2003 was a bittersweet year, Becky was diagnosed with breast cancer, We were finally recognized as Franchise of the Year at the annual PJ awards ceremony. We won it again in 2004, then 2005. John was so impressed, that they named the small franchise award after us-The Hinkle Award! Profitability was great, in 2006, we opened our 2nd store. A dream come true!

Becky was doing good in her battle with breast cancer. In Septemer 2009, we opened our 3rd location. It took off like a rocket! But her cancer came back, this time in her brain, spine, & liver. More radiation, chemo etc. She took it like a champ. I’ve never known a stronger woman! She seemed to have bounced back so 4 months later, we opened our 4th store. It had even opened stronger than the 3rd store.

Things were going great until November of 2010. Becky’s cancer had come back with a vengeance! It had reappeared in her brain & spine. This time they couldn’t do radiation & the tumors in her spine were inoperable. Her stomach basically quit working. I had to give her TPN myself-nutrition via IV. Then she lost control of one leg, followed by another. Then lost bladder control and other things. It was extremely hard to watch such a strong woman lose one thing after another.

My right hand man, Ed, was running/supervising our stores for us. I’m forever grateful of that so I could spend as much time as I could with Becky. I always believed she would make it until her legs & stomach gave out on her. When we got the news of her last diagnosis, we sat in the car & cried for at least 2 hrs.

I told her I was sorry for spending so much time in the stores but I was doing it so we could enjoy our time together later in life. She said she loved me for who I was & was proud of all my hard work. My plan was paying off just that life threw us a curve.

Within the span of a year & a half, I lost my dad, mom, best friend, and my wife. I have been & still do battle depression. I’ve been a diabetic since 96 as well.

ViSalus has helped me tremendously with my diabetes. I’ve been able to cut my insulin usage from 175 units/day to an average of 75. I’ve dropped 50 lbs in 11 months. As a promoter, since I don’t really need the income from ViSalus, I’m donating everything this year to the Susan G Komen foundation in hopes of one day finding a cure for breast cancer.”

Barry Hinkle

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