One year after Alexis Shapiro underwent weight loss surgery at 203 pounds, the 13-year-old just completed her first 5K and is doing her best to stay optimistic!
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.
Alexis after her surgery last year. (Photo Credit: Facebook)
"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."
Alexis before the brain tumor operation that changed her life forever. (Photo Credit: Facebook)
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.
Alexis during a trip to the beach earlier this month. (Photo Credit: Facebook)
"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."
Learn more about Alexis' journey in the video below!