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Community Helping Texas Girl Fight Rare Disease

Update Date: Dec 31, 2013 10:03 AM EST

A Texas girl who is suffering from a rare weight-gain disorder has been able to raise enough money from the helping community to pay for lifesaving surgery.

12-year-old Alexis Shapiro is just 4 feet 7 inches tall but weighs almost 200 pounds. For the girl everyday is a challenge.

“We never ever imagined how many people would care about our story,” said Jenny Shapiro, her mother, according to Fox29.

Two years ago, Alexis had a surgery to remove a brain tumour and since then she has gained 150 pounds.

“Looking at life now, it’s completely changed,” said Shapiro.

Post surgery, Alexis developed a hypothalamic obesity because of the damaged hypothalamus. Hypothalamus is the part of the brain that helps in regulating the weight, appetite and moods.

Even though she has her regular meal, she continues to starve. When her family turned to their insurance provider, Tricare, they refused to pay for the recommended gastric bypass surgery. Hence, they held their hopes for community help and started the campaign

So far, the family has been able to raise more than $70,000 from more than 1,400 people.

“Many kids have lost their lives to this,” Jenny Shapiro added, according to Huffington Post. “You develop all the symptoms that come along with weight gain – and not only that, but it’s rapid. Their bodies don’t have any time to adjust to it at all.”

“Oh my!!! I can’t believe this! We are so grateful,” the family wrote on the Go Fund Me page Sunday. “Thank you to everyone who cares.”

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