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It was a case of “all in the family” as 10 members of a Yuma family all underwent weight-loss surgerylosing a collective 1,186pounds!

Jean Ferguson, who is the last of her family to undergo the surgery, said her family’s unique understanding and support made the decision that much easier. In fact, Bettie Lee, Jean’s sister-in-law, helps lead a bariatric support group in Yuma.

“Through all the years of dieting and regaining weight, the gastric bypass has been the greatest tool I or my family could have asked for to help us in loosing weight,” said Feruson.

New studies are finding that obesity can run in families. According to a study published in April 2006, “A Common Genetic Variant is Associated with Adult and Childhood Obesity,” researchers found that obesity is a genetic trait present in 10% of individuals, and a risk factor for many common diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.

Jean, her husband and his sister all had their surgeries at Alvarado Hospital, which is nationally renowned for its surgical weight-loss program. Their surgeons, Drs. Julie Ellner and Sunil Bhoyrul, performed the gastric bypass surgeries.

“Being able to help these people with problems out of their control is what makes performing surgical weight-loss such a rewarding job,” said Dr. Ellner.