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Mom with chronic illnesses feels better after losing weight

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Deanna Childers Deanna Childers
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

A Sanilac County woman is battling chronic illnesses and, at the same time, challenging herself to lose weight, and she is winning on both fronts.

48-year-old Deanna Childers' struggle started twelve years ago.

"I was having blood loss. I was having aches, pains, couldn't get out of bed, and they diagnosed me with lupus and ulcerative colitis," she explained.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks healthy cells harming skin, joints and organs. Sometimes, as in Childers' case, it can lead to ulcerative colitis, which is ulcers in the lining of the rectum and colon.

Childers was in pain and struggling with knowing what to eat. It wasn't the illnesses, but rather the side effects from the steroids she was prescribed that lead her down a difficult path.

"I could gain up to 25 pounds in a week," Childers said. "I went from 145 pounds to over 300 within, I'd say, an eight month period."

In December at almost 400 pounds, Childers joined Medical Weight Loss Clinic. She said she notices with every pound lost, she feels better.

"My joints don't hurt as much, and my colitis, so far I've been in partial remission," Childers told us.

"It's a matter of them taking it day by day and learning how to deal with the chronic illness on top of eating properly," said Tracy Strieter-Mandrik from Medical Weight Loss Clinic.

Childers knows she has a long way to go, but she is finally feeling in control of her health. At a weigh-in six weeks ago, she was down over 53.6 pounds and has lost an additional 15 pounds since.

This Saturday, metro Detroit will be Taking Steps for Crohn's and Colitis. The downtown Royal Oak walk is dedicated to finding a cure for digestive diseases. Everyone is welcome. Click here for more information about the event.

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