A 4-year-old boy who put on 19kg due to a rare, life-limiting condition has been bullied by adults because of his weight, leaving his mother heartbroken.
Banner Sears, who has cancer, was also diagnosed with ROHHAD, rapid-onset obesity (RO) with hypothalamic dysregulation (H), hypoventilation (H), and autonomic dysregulation last June, causing him breathing problems as his weight ballooned.
The syndrome, which impacts the nervous system, saw him reach 31kg, more than double the weight of most 4-year-olds.
But the disease wasn't his only issue after adults started to tease and bully the 4-year-old over his appearance.
Banner's mother, from Rhode Island, US, said one household refused to give the young boy sweets when they went trick or treating for Halloween.
Another time, a woman started pointing at him and pulling a blow-up face as he ate a doughnut.
The incidents have left Banner's mum distraught.
"In 2019 when there are so many invisible diseases it shocked me that an adult could behave like that," said the mother-of-two.
She said she's fortunate her son is too young to understand the cruel comments and gestures adults are making to him.
According to the ROHHAD Association, there are only 100 children in the world with the condition and those diagnosed with the illness typically die in their teens and early 20s.
The boy was also forced to undergo surgery to remove a tumour last December and underwent experimental low-dose chemotherapy to try and slow the onset of his condition which caused him to lose his hair.
But in a change of fortune, Banner started preschool for the first time this week, with the young boy excited to see him hopefully return to living a normal life with routine.
She added she hopes he'll gain some independence back and hopes school will be the best thing for him.
A Gofundme page has been set up to help pay for Banner's treatment.
So far more than US$12,700 ($20,000) has been raised.