Since her surgery, Cassie has dropped almost 80 pounds. Today, at 141 pounds, she says she's happier and healthier.
Her outward appearance isn't the only thing that's changed. Cassie has also developed new eating habits. "I can eat anything I want, it's just smaller portions. I can eat like a hamburger, take three bites of a hamburger and maybe two french fries, and I'm set," she says. "It's like they put a different kind of gas tank in me and whenever it hits full, you're full."
Despite the risks, Jennifer says she's glad they didn't wait until Cassie was older to have the surgery. "I didn't want her knees to go," she says. "I didn't want her to get diabetes. I didn't want it to go past the point of no return."
If she had the funds, Jennifer says she'd help other obese teens get gastric banding surgery. "I'll tell anybody, you know, this is [less] invasive. It's proven with her. She's very happy, and most of all, she's healthy."