Oprah first met Stacey in 1987. At that time, Stacey weighed 550 pounds. She revealed that she had never been on a date and couldn't tie her own shoes. "I want to get thin…more than anything in the world," she said.
Seven years later, Oprah followed up with Stacey, who was still struggling to lose weight. To help others understand her pain, she gave cameras a glimpse into her daily life. Cameras rolled as children snickered and strangers insulted her as she walked down the street.
Fearing for her health, Stacey decided to undergo gastric bypass surgery. In 2003, she shared her dramatic results with Oprah Show viewers. "I'm a svelte 277," she said. "I've lost 218 pounds to date. I went from immobile to mobile in the course of a year."
During that appearance, Stacey told Oprah that she'd come to Chicago as soon as she could fit into a standard-sized airplane seat. After losing another 80 pounds, she made good on her promise! "It was quite a moment," Oprah says.