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Barbara's Story


“As a child, I was always chubby. My nickname was Babbie. So they’d call me Fattie Babbie in school. I grew up feeling like I didn’t fit in—I didn’t look like everyone else. In my teens, I went to a doctor and was prescribed water pills and then diet pills. I actually got into sports—girls’ basketball—to try to find a way to boost my self-esteem which landed me a scholarship at Delaware State College.

I lost the scholarship before I graduated, and many other things in my life led me to have an ongoing substance abuse problem for many years. I was thin. But I was an addict. Beating that was my first big life’s challenge. But I began to gain weight again. When I hit 275 pounds I went to the doctor. For eight months, I went to the Geisinger program meetings and lost 36 pounds prior to my surgery.

I wanted to get my life back. I wanted to live like a normal person
without being out of breath all the time. Since the surgery, I’ve lost 106 pounds.  No more diabetes, acid reflux, and sleep apnea; no more huffing and puffing; my joints don’t hurt. And when those grandkids come along, I’ll be in shape to take them to the park.”