A 13-year-old girl who suddenly became morbidly obese after a procedure to remove a benign brain tumor caused her to experience uncontrollable hunger has reportedly lost 60 pounds since having life-saving bariatric surgery.
Alexis Shapiro of Cibolo, Texas was diagnosed with a rare disorder called hypothalamic obesity back in 2011. The disease is characterized by constant hunger and rapid, uncontrollable weight gain as a result of the hunger and increased eating. For Shapiro, a seemingly normal young girl, the weight came on fast, and by early this year, the then-12-year-old weighed over 200 pounds.
“We began 2014 in the darkest, lowest place,” Jenny Shapiro, Alexis’ mother, wrote in a piece published by the Today Show.
After her diagnosis in 2011, Alexis’ insurance company refused to pay for weight loss surgery, but by turning to crowdsourcing and the help of family and friends, the 13-year-old’s parents were finally able to raise enough money to get their daughter the help she needed. Now, eight months after undergoing the surgery, Alexis has reportedly already lost 60 pounds and is continuing to lost weight every day.
(ABOVE: Alexis Shapiro before her rapid weight gain in 2011)
“Today, we get to see the pretty view,” Jenny Shapiro wrote. “My daughter, Alexis, is healthy. We have not been able to say that for a long time.”
Shapiro says her daughter still has struggles, mostly around being able to function at school, but each day gets better, and now, the family can finally see a light at the end of a really dark and scary tunnel.