Undergoing drastic life changes like becoming healthy or losing so much weight is a challenging task. However, for Haley Duffy, there were no excuses; she knew in her heart that she had to go through this.
Haley Duffy, who is now 22, once weighed 385 pounds and was a size 30. Ever since she was little, she struggled with her weight. She spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital trying to get control of her weight, and she endured bullying at school.
Haley says, ‘Throughout school, I was severely bullied; every day, I would dread going to school.’ She added, ‘I would do anything I could to get out of it or come home early.’
It was a hard time for Haley, and she says, ‘Teasing is all I remember of my primary to secondary years.’ She says, ‘My weight held me back - I never went out, played sports, or had a social life as a teenager.’
She says that kids were nasty to her, and she didn’t have many friends when she was in school.
In 2010, she was experiencing stomach pains, and she was taken to the hospital, where doctors found a four-liter cyst on her right ovary that needed to be removed.
She had the cyst removed, which affected her chances of having a family later in life. She was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries.
She started working out and eating healthier, and she was able to lose the weight she needed to be eligible for surgery. In 2011, she went for surgery. At the time, she weighed 396 pounds.
From there, things only got better. Everyday routines like going to the bathroom and taking a shower became so much easier for her.
In five years, Haley was able to lose an incredible 222 pounds. But now she is facing another problem. She says, ‘Even with my regular exercise and healthy eating - I’m stuck with a huge amount of excess skin from how fast I lost my weight.’
Haley says, ‘From my shoulders down, I need skin surgery. I’m so proud of my hard work and my accomplishments, but sometimes it feels like the weight is still there.’
She adds, ‘My excess skin is a constant reminder of the years I suffered and fought – something I don’t want to be reminded of.’
She has said that she has had trouble finding jobs, saying employers find her ‘too fat to be working.’ She has also had to buy bigger clothes just to fit her extra skin. She says, ‘While my friends and family reassure me that none of this matters and that they love me.’
Haley has found a doctor to perform the surgery to remove her excess skin, but the cost is out of her reach.
She’s now looking to raise $50,000 to cover the procedure. She says, ‘I need this — I want to move on, I want to be freely active, I want to see the world, I want to live and love life!’