Newsome distinctly remembers being pulled aside during a health exam in kindergarten and being told her weight was putting her health at risk. “It was embarrassing because I was aware of my size from a very young age.”
Her parents had gone through weight loss surgery as adults and looked into whether weight loss surgery was an option for teens. Her mother soon learned Duke was North Carolina’s only accredited weight loss surgery program for adolescents. When Newsome was 15, her mom told her the choice to go through with weight loss surgery was hers alone.
Shortly after that conversation, Newsome said, “I remember sitting in a seat in the gym and being so uncomfortable and so aware of how much space my body was taking up. I looked at my mom and said, ‘Call Duke. I want to start the process.’”