Thoughts from


Antonia Namnath 



People who have circled the sun living their life inside a morbidly obese body know many hard truths.  They understand the bias and inequities that exist. They have been at the end of stares, and gawks and direct cruelty – many since childhood.

They are oftentimes victims of physical, sexual or mental abuse. Morbidly obese people long to be accepted, respected and loved like all other human beings. Biases in society against obesity are strong; this bias extends to the medical treatment of obesity.  People seeking weight loss surgery routinely hide this fact from friends and loved ones. The media often treat the doctors who practice bariatric surgery with less respect than other specialties.

Weight loss surgery patients, with the success their treatments bring, gain confidence and acceptability in society. Many times they will begin to disclose their treatments to inquiring minds. This newfound confidence is the thinnest patina of courage, and like the most fragile eggshell, it can be destroyed by others under the powerful spell of weight bias.

You took the easy way out”, “You cheated”, “You could have lost the weight on your own”, “You are lazy” … I could go on with the hurtful statements, you’ve heard them, you know what they are.

Not all weight loss surgery patients are destroyed in the face of bias!  Many gain strength and join together to push through as a community to overcome this shaming.

Thousands have joined together to support our unique community and we have linked arms and are paying it forward.

Weight loss surgery patients working together are the living testament, the proof that weight loss surgery works! We are advocates for the medical treatment of obesity.  We, the WLSFA community, are speaking in unison in the face of bias and shaming and saying publicly and proudly, “WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY SAVED OUR LIVES!”Together, we formed the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America, a 501 (c)3 public charity.

My Name is Antonia Namnath and I am the founder of the WLSFA.

In 2009, I became a self-pay weight loss surgery patient. My life changed in every way a life can be changed.  I regained my health, my dignity and ambition to make a difference in this world.  I knew I could not enjoy my happy new fate knowing how many people were without hope, trapped in their morbidly obese bodies. In April of 2010, I founded the WLSFA to pay it forward and help people less fortunate than I escape the cruel fate that morbid obesity brings.

The WLSFA is the only charity funding grants for weight loss surgery.  Since 2010 we have funded 28 grants for surgery. That is 28 lives saved!

How can the largest disease process affecting the US and the world at large not have a major charity to support it? How can we as patients and medical professionals turn the other way when we know how many morbidly obese people are being denied access to the medical treatment they need? How do we change the perception that weight loss surgery is illegitimate, for the money, a fad or even worse?

The answer is CHARITY!  Become involved in the WLSFA.  Become an active bariatric medical professional with the WLSFA. Become a contributing surgeon in the operating room and with your charitable dollars!  How could any charity be closer to your heart?

Dr. Garth Davis and Dr. Robert Davis contributed their time and performed our inaugural surgery on May 23 of 2011. They gave Connie Bailey a chance to once again become an identical twin to her sister who had weight loss surgery 10 years before. They gave and have promised to continue to give of their time to the WLSFA and for that we are forever grateful!

Your participation in our WLSFA Network of Care would illustrate the true importance of bariatric surgery – that is not just about money – it is about saving lives.  Compassionate patients, generous surgeons, caring hospitals and industry partners are paying it forward… together.  WLSFA Grants are given only to patients surgeons refer! 

“Together we can help and give someone who has run out of all options HOPE!”


WLSFA Grants 

My job as Founder of the WLSFA is to demonstrate the value the WLSFA brings to the entire bariatric community – patients, doctors and industry partners.

The WLSFA awards two types of Grants:

Emergency Grants:  Insurance deductibles, co pays, suddenly unemployed COBRA fees to name a few financial obstacles that can end a patient’s trip to the OR for an otherwise fully insured and funded surgery. The WLSFA asks you to refer these problem cases to us. Let us keep your surgery schedule full. You need a place to send your patients in these situations and you have that place – the WLSFA!

Full Grants:“Episode of Care” Grants that fund all fees associated to surgery. We work with contributing surgeons who give us their time in the OR and support the patient for one year at no charge.

My job as Founder of the WLSFA is to demonstrate the value the WLSFA brings to the entire bariatric community – patients, doctors and industry partners. 

We help patients get surgery. We help doctors keep patients. We help spread the word about your products to the community.

Together we can help and give someone who has run out of all options HOPE!

It takes a surgeon donating time, an industry partner sponsoring our programs, and the WLSFA using our money to fund the grants for surgery.

Our grant recipients participate in the process.  They must raise part of the funds they request, work as Ambassadors for the WLSFA and pay it forward with contributions of time and money as they regain their Health.

Together we can save lives one grant at a time!  Please join us.

This is the presentation was given by WLSFA Founder, Antonia Namnath, at the Texas Association for Bariatric Surgery (TABS) conference in 2012. It is still 100% relevant to this day.




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