A 380-pound girl with a rare condition that causes her to constantly be hungry was crowned a pageant queen in Mississippi.
Anna Hankins, 15, suffers from Prader-Willi Syndrome, an incurable genetic disorder in which patients develop an insatiable appetite, leading to chronic overeating and obesity, according to the National Institutes of Health.
At two years old, Anna developed an insatiable appetite and was diagnosed with the condition, that affects one in 15,000 babies born in the United States.
"When she was little, the first words out of her mouth were 'I'm hungry' and the last ones were 'I'm hungry'", her mother, Jennifer told SWNS.
Throughout her childhood, Anna’s hunger has been out of control. "We would get up in the morning, and [found out that] in the middle of the night she had gotten up and made a whole cake,” her mother said.
The mother of two said she had to lock the fridge and cabinets to prevent Anna from raiding them. "We would clean her room and find empty food wrappers and candy wrappers — anything she could get her hands on.”
The teenager from Louisville, Miss., is on a 900 calorie-a-day food plan but, because her body does not break down food properly, she cannot lose weight. She currently weighs 380 pounds.
Due to her weight, Anna is unable to dress herself and needs oxygen to help her breathe.
"I have Prader-Willi Syndrome and I get hungry a lot. It can be difficult to deal with sometimes,” Anna told SWNS.
But one way that’s helped boost the teenager’s self-esteem is by taking part in the Miss Amazing pageant, which celebrates women and girls with disabilities.
"I love Miss Amazing. My favorite thing is singing and makeup and hair," Anna said.
Anna first got involved in the pageant world in fourth grade and has since participated in three events, most recently in November, winning the state title each time.
Lori Brasfield-Sanders, director of Miss Amazing Mississippi, told SWNS, "The biggest misconception people have regarding people with disabilities is that they cannot lead full, engaging lives.”
She added, "Anna is an amazing ambassador; she is very popular and she loves participating.”