Alexis Shapiro, a Texas girl who has suffered from uncontrollable hunger, is faring well after undergoing a sleeve gastrectomy last year.
The 13-year-old girl from Cibolo, Texas has a new lease on life after having surgery at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in March 2014, which was meant to combat her uncontrollable weight gain.
Alexis from Texas even completed a 5K race.
"I still really believe the surgery saved her life," her mom Jenny Shapiro, 35, told People magazine. "I don't even know if we would be here. Seeing her do a 5K was just icing on the cake."
Alexis from Texas was in far different situation just a year ago when she could barely move because of the weight on her 4'7" frame, a result of a 2011 operation to remove a brain tumor that damaged the appetite and metabolism center of the brain, the hypothalamus. Alexis' weight went up to 203 lbs., she developed diabetes and her liver and pancreas were failing.
The little girl's pain was almost unbearable.
After undergoing the operation, Alexis Shapiro lost nearly 60 lbs. in six months.
— People magazine (@people) March 30, 2015
"I feel more active and more talkative," Alexis told People at the time. "I walk laps every day."
Since then, Alexis from Texas gained back eight to 10 lbs., but she and her family remain hopeful.
"She's gaining independence little by little and becoming her own person," said Jenny Shapiro. "The surgery was really good for Alexis and I’m proud of her. It took a lot of hard work – a lot. And it still does. I'm baffled by how well she does, especially at her age. She's such a tough girl."
— People magazine (@people) December 27, 2014
Alexis of Texas also suffers from panhypopituitarism, which requires her to take steroids and growth hormones every day, which damage her bones and make her feel sick.
"She does as well as she can," says Jenny. "She tries to tough it out."