If you have a sick child there isn’t anything that you won’t do to make sure that your child gets better. Charlene Howard took it to the extreme when she found out that her son who was born with cystic fibrosis also had liver disease and possibly needed a transplant.
At 5’2” and 231 pounds she was considered morbidly obese with a BMI of 43. Being her son’s closest match for a liver, she wanted to make sure that she was able to give it to him should he need it and that meant dropping a lot of weight.
It has been a rough road for Charlene and her son Elliot. He had been diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was younger and had to undergo treatment. With Charlene being a single mother the treatment took a toll on her and her body and she began rapidly gaining weight. They lived together in the Birmingham Children’s Hospital for a year while he underwent surgery and chemo. She would grab whatever comfort food she could and would just start eating to combat the stress.
Before finding out about Elliot’s liver condition Charlene would eat cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and fast food for dinner. She said that her portions were always too large. Once she found out that she needed to lose weight in order to save her son, she changed her diet completely. She now has porridge for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and risotto or other light dishes for supper. She stopped snacking on junk food completely. For exercise she bought a treadmill and a Wii Fit. Charlene felt like she didn’t fit in at a gym because she was the overweight girl trying to run instead of being thin and athletic like the other members.
Charlene now weighs 131 pounds and is at a BMI of 24 which is within healthy range. She is continuing with her healthy diet iand hopes that she can keep the weight off and remain healthy for her son.