Posted 3:00 PM 11/8/2011 : Losing weight saved this Biggest Loser's life twice
TUCSON - Anna Greenberg is just 26 years old, but she already knows what it is like to fight for her life. She says shedding 90 pounds saved her life not once, but twice. To say she has come a long way is a major understatement. Anna has battled obesity all her life, and at 24 years old she tipped the scale at 246.7 pounds.
"I had three amazing friends tell me if I didn't start losing weight I was going to die," Greenberg said.
However it was ultimately a doctor visit in December 2009 that changed everything.
"All I heard my doctor say was I was .01 percent away from being diagnosed diabetic," she said. "It was time to take care of myself."
That is exactly what she did, by following a 1200 calorie diet and working out five times a week. Nearly two years later the hard work has paid off.
"She's a whole new person as far as physique wise," said Nicole Sanchez, Anna's personal trainer.
Anna has dropped 90 pounds and even ran her first half marathon on A mountain back in October.
"I was running up my stairs but completely out of breath," said Greenberg. "Now I have good reason for running out of breath because I'm running half marathons."
However that is only half of Anna's story. As the pounds melted away Anna and her trainer noticed something unusual on her right leg.
"We measured it, it was a whole inch bigger from two days prior," Greenberg said.
Turns out the growth is a tumor, a very rare form of cancer known as Rabhdomyosarcoma.
"If I didn't lose this weight, there's no way we would even still see the cancer in my leg," Greenberg said.
The good news is the cancer is not life-threatening and while the road to recovery will be long, Anna is taking her determination and positive attitude along for the ride.
"I've taken a year-and-a-half to fight off obesity to save my life and no matter what this cancer brings I'll still have a full long life, but I want to have it even longer, so I can tell my story at 73 years old, at least," said Greenberg.
Anna is scheduled to undergo surgery at St. Joseph's November 15 and she is still working with a team of doctors to discuss her best treatment options. Meantime she continues to eat well, work out, and is encouraging her family members to get healthy too.
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