Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation would like to introduce 18-year-old, Jason. In third grade, Jason developed gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is a condition consisting of the enlargement of the glandular tissue of male breasts. It is a condition that results from an imbalance in the hormonal environment in the body. Despite Jason's exercise regimen and diet, his medical condition remained. He was subjected to bullying as a result.
Jason notes, "During those harsh years of being ridiculed and constantly bullied, it was horrible. I never felt the same about myself. I would hate having to participate in gym class, even though I really wanted to play. The kids at that school where ruthless. As much as I tried to ignore it, it was impossible. I felt hopeless."
Jason tried many different tactics in efforts to disguise his medical condition. Jason confesses, “I would do things like wearing oversized shirts, slouching, and wearing compression shirts. That never helped me as much as I tried because they were still noticeable. At one point, I went as far as trying to tape my chest to cover them up.”
Jason’s parents later sought medical attention for his gynecomastia when they began to realize how his condition was affecting him physically, emotionally, and socially. Unfortunately, Jason and his parents were informed that their health insurance would not cover the surgical procedure Jason needed because it was deemed as cosmetic. Jason had just begun college and his sister was preparing to graduate from high school, so his family could not afford the surgery.
The staff at The University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) understood the family’s financial situation, so they were referred to Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation. Jason underwent surgery during Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation’s September 22, 2018 Surgery Weekend. Jason says, “They [the Fresh Start and UCM staff] all were so kind and caring during the process. They reassured me that the surgery and the recovery would be okay. I can’t thank the Fresh Start program enough for literally giving me a fresh start.” He continues by stating, “Thank you for this amazing and life-changing procedure, and I hope that you continue to change people’s lives who truly need help like I once did.”
We at Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation wish Jason the very best, and we are honored to have played a role in his transformation.