Alexis Shapiro, 12, developed hypothalamic obesity after an operation two years ago.
Alexis Shapiro, 12, developed hypothalamic obesity after an operation two years ago.

Girl, 12, puts on 90kg as brain tells her she's starving

A 12-YEAR-OLD girl put on 90 kilograms after suffering a rare brain disorder that causes her to think she is starving.

But now the youngster has been given new hope after online donors kicked in more than $US50,000 for a vital weight-loss operation.

Alexis Shapiro developed the condition known as hypothalamic obesity after an operation two years ago to remove a benign brain tumour.

Her mother Jenny Shapiro, 34, of Texas, told NBC the family padlocked the kitchen cupboards to stop her eating, adding that her daughter could consume a whole jar of peanut butter in a single sitting.

"She has no function of her hypothalamus, or pituitary gland,'' Jenny explained on a website post appealing for help.

"This has left her with several life threatening conditions.

"Most we control with replacement hormones and medication.

"However, the one thing we have not been able to control is something called hypothalamic obesity.

"It is a beast and we have tried so hard to control it.

"No amount of diet or exercise will stop this obesity.

"Alexis has gained about 140lbs in not even 2yrs. It has been heartbreaking for her and for us. She cannot do the things she used to love.''

After launching the appeal on the the Go Fund Me crowd sourcing site, Jenny was overwhelmed with the response.

"We are so grateful. I am going to contact the hospital on Monday. To find out if this will cover all the costs. Thank you to everyone who cares."


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