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Teen With Genetic Eating Disorder Crowned Pageant Queen

Photo from Jennifer Hankins/SWNS

A 15-year-old girl from Louisville, who has a rare condition that results in her feeling hungry all the time, has been crowned a pageant queen in Mississippi.

Anna Hankins suffers from Prader-Willi Syndrome, a genetic disorder with no cure. Those who have this develop an insatiable appetite, which in turn leads to constant overeating and obesity, Fox News reports. Hankins currently weighs 380 pounds.

Hankins was diagnosed with the condition at the age of two. Prader-Willi Syndrome affects one in 15,000 babies born in the United States, the National Institutes of Health says.

Jennifer, Hankins’ mother, said, “When she was little, the first words out of her mouth were ‘I’m hungry’ and the last ones were ‘I’m hungry.’” Her entire childhood was spent answering the uncontrollable need to eat. Jennifer related, “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.”

The mother of two added that she had taken to locking the refrigerator and cabinets to prevent her daughter from cleaning them out. She said, “We would clean her room and find empty food wrappers and candy wrappers — anything she could get her hands on.”

Hankins is on a 900-calorie-per-day diet plan, but since her body is unble to break food down normally, she cannot lose weight. Hankins said, “It can be difficult to deal with sometimes.”

To boost her self-esteem, Hankins entered the Miss Amazing pageant, a competition that celebrates women and girls who are other-abled. Hankins said,

I love Miss Amazing. My favorite thing is singing and makeup and hair.

She first got involved with the pageant in fourth grade, and has participated in three events. She won the state title every time. Lori Brasfield-Sanders, director of Miss Amazing Mississippi, said, “The biggest misconception people have regarding people with disabilities is that they cannot lead full, engaging lives. Anna is an amazing ambassador; she is very popular and she loves participating.”

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