Medical Condition: Obesity
Medical Therapy: Bariatric treatment
Charity: Asociación Bariátrica Hispalis
Obesity severely impacted the quality of Victoria’s life for years, until one day she decided to make a change and sought help. In 2006, she gained access to medical technology and received bariatric surgery. Now, Victoria is the president and co-founder of Asociación Bariátrica Hispalis, collaborating with health professionals in the fight against obesity. Victoria’s Bakken Invitation Award will support Asociación Bariátrica Hispalis’ programs to prevent childhood obesity, and organize patient-medical workshops, events and outreach to families who suffer from obesity.
“I have suffered from obesity for years, which impacted the quality of my life. One day, I woke up at 164 kilograms and didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. I could barely walk.
“My niece, three years old at the time, asked me to pick her up and I had to explain that I wasn’t able to. I was shocked I could not hold my own niece. Then, she took my hand and said, ‘Don’t worry, Auntie, it’s okay. I will carry you and support you. Just stay calm. ’At that moment, I began to change and made her words my motto, which would later become the voice of many more.
“In 2006, medical technology was finally in my reach and I had bariatric surgery, which helped me with my eating habits and exercise. At 80 kilograms, I felt like I could fly and I opened my wings.
“As president and co-founder of Asociación Bariátrica Hispalis, I team with health professionals to create one voice in the fight against obesity. This year, we are focusing on preventing childhood obesity through campaigns, forums, workshops, and more.
“I also helped form BARISOC, a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of various associations in Spain to stop the spread of obesity and inspire change within governmental agencies. “When I was obese, I felt alone and unsupported. Yet I knew there were others like me and I wanted to let them know there was hope—and treatment. Obesity is a serious disease that is on the rise, but it is one we can prevent by working together.”
“Don’t worry; it’s going to be okay. I will carry and support you. Just stay calm, and know that we can help each other. Change is possible — always possible!”
Asociación Bariátrica Hispalis’ raises awareness about obesity and offers patient support, including information on health, nutrition, and treatment options. The organization aims to overcome societal and lifestyle challenges related to obesity, and change regulations to prevent the growth of the disease. This grant will support Asociación Bariátrica Hispalis’ programs to prevent childhood obesity, and organize patient-medical workshops, events and outreach to families who suffer from obesity.
*Not everyone who receives this therapy will receive the same results as the patient in this story. Talk with your doctor to determine if this type of therapy is right for you.