A morbidly obese woman in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is facing the biggest battle of her life -- losing 200 pounds in a hurry.
Charity Pierce, 38, is trying to lose enough weight to qualify for gastric bypass surgery. She believes surgery is the only way she'll be healthy enough to marry her 21-year-old boyfriend, Tony Sauer.
"I’m determined not to have to get married at home –- I want to be able to walk up the aisle," she told Barcroft TV. "We both love country music so I plan to wear a wedding dress, cowboy boots and cowgirl hat and Tony will be in jeans and cowboy boots."
Sauer isn't just Pierce's lover and confidant. His brother, Jimmy, had a previous relationship with Pierce that produced her 18-year-old daughter, Charly.
Sauer first met Pierce when he was 8 and she was 25. They reconnected at a party three years ago.
"After Charly was born I didn’t often see Jimmy, so we weren’t ever a couple," she said. “When I met Tony, he seemed very mature for his age and we just got on.”
In the early days of their courtship, Pierce recalled that she and her boyfriend were having sex "up to four times a day," according to Barcroft TV.
She has since developed lymphedema, a condition that has caused extreme swelling in her left leg and hip, and that has cut into her sex life.
"The lymphedema feels like another whole person. It feels like cinder blocks hanging off you all the time," Pierce told KCRG-TV.
Sauer says Pierce's size isn't an issue, but he worries she could die.
Although she has reduced her daily caloric intake from 10,000 to 1,200, Pierce has only lost 22 pounds in the last few months. She believes gastric bypass surgery could help, but local doctors won't operate until she loses at least 200 pounds.
There is a doctor in Houston who is willing to operate on patients who weigh more than 600 pounds, she said. To get there, she needs to raise $5,000 to pay for an ambulance -- the only vehicle that can transport her.
Pierce has set up a GoFundMe page and has raised $2,338 so far.
If the Houston doctor believes she's a good candidate for surgery, her experience could be filmed for the TLC series, "My 600-lb. Life."
When doctors brought a set of heavy-duty scales to Pierce’s home, she topped the scales at 765 pounds, more than 122 pounds heavier than Pauline Potter, who is recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's heaviest living woman.
“Seeing that figure appear on the scales was such a shock. I didn’t expect that. It was devastating," she said, according to the Mirror.
This article has been updated to reflect information from Barcroft TV originally attributed to another source.