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Since some weight loss procedures like gastric banding aren't FDA-approved for children in this country, one mother traveled to Tijuana, Mexico, for help.

In 2004, Jennifer's 13-year-old daughter Cassie weighed 220 pounds. Though Cassie tried dieting and consulted a nutritionist, Jennifer says she kept putting on weight.

"Every month, [she gained] between 5 to 8 pounds. … We don't know where the weight was coming [from]," she says. "My biggest fear was mentally, Cassie would crash. She'd become depressed, she'd eat because of the depression, she'd stop sports, she'd stop being who she was."

When Cassie revealed that she was being teased about her weight, Jennifer says she decided it was time to take action. She researched gastric banding surgery and found a doctor in Mexico who agreed to perform the procedure. "In the United States, there are no other options for these children," she says. "No doctor would touch her."

Jennifer says maternal instincts made her want to fix things for her child. "You want to protect them and do what's right for them," Jennifer says. "I know this was major, but in my heart, I felt I was doing the right thing for her."
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FROM: Should a 340-Pound Teen Have Gastric Bypass?
Published on March 14, 2008

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