Shaping up a city in the nation’s fattest state
"People want to do good, but they need help,"
- Linda Fondren
With her weight-loss challenge, Linda Fondren has helped residents of her Mississippi town lose nearly 15,000 pounds.
When Mary Washington died in 2006 at the age of 54, she carried 260 pounds on her 4-foot-11-inch frame.
"Cancer killed her, but obesity restricted her life," said Washington's sister, Linda Fondren. "Her last words to me were, 'Linda, I wish I had lived my life more for myself.' "
Washington had been a single mother, working multiple jobs in the food service industry to make ends meet.
"She did not know that she could do both," Fondren said. "You can be of service to people ... but you must take care of yourself first."