High school years are already some of the most difficult ones of a person’s life. You’re going through puberty, struggling to see where you fit in, and often times, suffer at the hands of a bully.
Imagine if, on top of all the stresses you were already facing, you also suffered from a rare condition that caused you to constantly gain weight.
For Anna Hankins, it isn’t just a hypothetical scenario — it’s her reality.
Anna suffers from Prader-Willi Syndrome, an incurable genetic disorder that causes low muscle tone, short starture and chronic eating.
The 15-year-old deals with incessant hunger every single day of her young life and weighs 380 lbs.
‘She eats anything she can get,” Anna’s mom, Jennifer Hankins said. “There isn’t food she doesn’t like. She would get in the garbage can or drink a bowl of milk we hadn’t thrown out. She can’t control it.”
Doctors have restricted her to a 900 calorie a day diet, but her body is unable to properly break down food. She cannot lose the weight no matter how hard she tries.
Kids stare at Anna and have even asked her why she is ‘fat.’
Despite her condition and the constant stares, Anna refuses to let it consume her life.
Anna is the life of the party and was even recently crowned queen in a pageant that celebrates women with disabilities called “Miss Amazing.”
“I love Miss Amazing,” Anna said. “My favorite thing is singing and makeup and hair.”
When the crown was placed on Anna’s head, her mother cried. But this isn’t an odd occurrence.
Anna’s mom cries every time she sees her daughter on stage doing what she loves.
“Taking part in Miss Amazing definitely helps her self-esteem, and seeing the other girls that have special needs helps her know she isn’t the only one,” Hankins said.
“It’s a moment where we can forget about all her problems.”
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