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An aspiring MMA fighter who’s overcome the obstacle of obesity is now taking aim at another long-time personal struggle: eliminating male breast enlargement (gynecomastia) once and for all.

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As headlines like “My man boobs are costing me a shot at MMA glory” circulate, Jeremiah Mastrogiacomo’s story is being shared far and wide.

The 19-year-old from Cape Coral, Fla. explained to Caters News Agency that a hormone imbalance and his obesity caused him a lot of problems with self-esteem and relationships while growing up.

“The doctors think that at puberty there was an imbalance of hormones and my body produced more estrogen than testosterone,” he said.

“I used to tell myself I wasn’t good enough. I’ve never had serious relationships. I never thought someone would want me long-term, as a teen it was tough. There were limitations like not going to the beach or taking my shirt off,” he said. “I do still feel insecure even when people tell me I look great. I’ve grown a body dysmorphia in a way.”

To this day he says, “I can feel them swaying around. It feels like an alien on my body,” even though he’s gone from 254 pounds to 179 by training hard and ditching his 5,000 calorie binge days.

Here’s what he wrote on the GoFundMe campaign he started to help cover the cost of surgery:

My name is Jeremiah, I’m 19 years old and I’ve been suffering from a case of gynecomastia since I was 13 years old. I never really cared at first and I thought it would go away with time but now I’m understanding that my case of gynecomastia won’t leave me unless I get the necessary cosmetic surgery to get rid of it once and for all. I moved away from home recently and I’m on my own when I comes to financial stability. I am an up and coming Mixed Martial Artist and fighting with gynecomastia is hindering my real potential as an elite fighter. I can’t necessarily move the way I want to during a competitive fight. Around 6 months ago I transformed my whole body going from a fat 254 lbs to a lean and ripped 179 lbs, but there’s one problem… the gynecomastia still remains. For those who do not know of gynecomastia I will leave a link to an article that explains it in depth. I would greatly appreciate your donations for this upcoming surgery in my life. Gynecomastia is a real problem for young guys like myself. I need all the financial help I can get to get this surgery. Gynecomastia is not covered by insurance due to the fact that it is considered a “cosmetic” surgery. This is not for the embarrassment of gynecomastia like I used to have when I was 13. I’ve learned to deal with the embarrassment but as of now it is a complete and utter hindrance on my max athletic performance as a athlete. Thank you all for understanding and I can’t thank you enough for your donations. God bless.

“I am an up and coming Mixed Martial Artist and fighting with gynecomastia is hindering my real potential as an elite fighter,” he wrote.

To this point, the campaign has not yet gotten off the ground, as it has garnered $25 of the $9,000 goal in two months.

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He’s hoped to raise the money in advance of his first amateur fight, scheduled for July.

(H/t NY Post)

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