(Newser) - Alexis Shapiro is 12 years old, 4-foot-7, and 198 pounds-a weight that is growing at a rate of at least two pounds a week. It's due to a very rare condition known as hypothalamic obesity, which itself was born from another medical issue.
As NBC News reports, the Texas girl underwent surgery two years ago to remove a rare but benign brain tumor; but its removal damaged her hypothalamus, and the result is that Alexis constantly feels hungry even as her weight balloons, and even as she's kept on a strict diet. And the one thing doctors believe can help her-a $50,000 gastric bypass surgery that will reduce her stomach size and would hopefully alter her brain's reaction to fullness-was this month denied by the family's insurance company (TRICARE, which serves US military members).
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That's what I'm scared of." But this morning, Shapiro sounded much more optimistic on the GoFundMe page, writing, "Oh my!!! I can't believe this! We are so grateful. I am going to contact the hospital on Monday. To find out if this will cover all the costs." Meanwhile, a 2-year-old Saudi boy recently became the youngest ever to undergo bariatric surgery.
- Disease & Medical Conditions