A Brandon teenager battling obesity and bullying was on the verge of suicide until he had a life changing encounter.
It happened for Kris Beall when his mother reached out to Biggest Loser winner and Mississippi native Patrick House.
The seventeen-year-old's after school snack of banana and peanut butter is vastly different from the whole bag of chicken nuggets drenched in ranch dressing that he used to eat.
At age 15, the Northwest Rankin High School freshman was 298 pounds and contemplating suicide.
"On top of life, school was miserable. I felt very self-conscious about myself. It was hard for me to walk from class to class," said Kris Beall.
That was 2010.
His mother Cindy wanted to help and learned about Brandon resident Patrick House who was competing on the Biggest Loser.
She sent the contestant an email.
"Thirty minutes later I got a phone call from Patrick, so that was on a Wednesday, and it just so happened that he was in town," said Cindy Beall.
House and Kris met and the Biggest Loser winner convinced Kris to attend MindStream Academy, a weight loss boarding school where House would be teaching.
Kris spent four months at the South Carolina camp doing three daily workouts, going to school and learning how to eat and live healthier.
"He's my buddy. He's my mentor. He helps me get along and some of those workouts, I'm not gonna lie they were hard and some of those workouts I just wanted to stop, but he was there doing them with us," said the Brandon teen.
Kris spent another four months mentoring students at the program that costs $10,000.00 to attend.
His mother said it saved his life and transformed him.
"People thought he had gotten taller. He did a little but the main thing he was holding his head up. He wasn't shrunk over. He looked at people. He smiled, didn't realize what a beautiful smile he had," said the proud mother.
"It gives you back self-esteem, changed my life," Kris added.
He keeps in touch with House and at 180 pounds now runs about six miles every other day and encourages other young people to follow his path.
Kris's former principal, Richard Morrison, said MindStream Academy gave the Northwest Rankin student a brand new outlook on life, changing him to person who's positive and very self-assured with a great attitude.
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