(EDITION.CNN) — In middle school, Taylor LeBaron struggled to fit into his seat. The desks in class had a ceramic plate attached to the chair.

“I was so large, I couldn’t fit in there,” said LeBaron, now 19. “Every other student could. I couldn’t get my legs to fit underneath the desk or my stomach to fit between the chair without getting the desk stuck with me.

“It was really embarrassing. When class is over, everyone gets up, I would take a few minutes extra, tactfully maneuvering out without looking like a fool.”

But LeBaron, who weighed nearly 300 pounds at age 14, never requested a separate table and chair because he didn’t want to draw more attention to himself.

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