13-Year-Old Lost 60 Life-Saving Pounds With Surgery.
It’s been one year since Alexis Shapiro underwent a sleeve gastrectomy to combat her uncontrollable weight gain. The 13-year-old from Cibolo, Texas is doing well – she even completed a 5K race!
The Cibolo, Texas resident first made headlines in 2013 after gaining 150 pounds to her 4-foot-7 frame as a result of a 2011 operation to remove a brain tumor. The procedure damaged her hypothalamus, which controls appetite and metabolism, causing her to always be hungry and develop diabetes.
“I still really believe the surgery saved her life,” her mom Jenny Shapiro tells ‘People’ magazine. “I don’t even know if we would be here. Seeing her do a 5K was just icing on the cake.”
Following the surgery, Alexis lost nearly 60 pounds in six months. “I feel more active and more talkative,” the pre-teen said at the time. “I walk laps every day.”
Since then, she’s gained about 10 of those pounds back, but is in much better spirits than she was a year ago. “Alexis has a confidence about her that she didn’t have before. She’s gaining independence little by little and becoming her own person,” Jenny shares with ‘People.’
Though she’s forced to take steroids and growth hormones every day due to another side effect of the original tumor operation, she’s happy to be done with home schooling.
“She has friends in her class,” Jenny wrote on a Facebook page that updates family and friends on Alexis’ progress. “Having them in her corner has helped so much.”