Amazing transformation for woman who had beach ball-sized tumor

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A Georgia woman who carried around a 30-pound tumor says she is overjoyed to finally have her life back after doctors removed the benign mass from her stomach.

“It was either me or the tumor and it was the tumor that had to go,” said 59-year-old Doris Lewis of Newton County.

The beach ball-sized growth was threatening her life.

"I feel grateful, thankful, happy," she told WSB-TV – Atlanta.

>> RELATED: Doctors remove beach ball-sized tumor from woman's stomach

Monday marked her first interview since the surgery.

Lewis now walks around her neighborhood with a pep in her step, speaking to everyone in sight.

“I probably would not be alive if that tumor had stayed in me. It would have taken my life,” Lewis said.

She didn't have insurance and was having trouble finding a hospital to remove it. Then, doctors at Emory University Hospital Midtown stepped in and performed the eight-hour surgery.

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“No one had any idea how it was going to turn out. Everything was like up in the air,” she said.

It was delicate because the growth was wrapped around her internal organs.

Lewis has a message for people without insurance who need medical care.

“If you ever have something that's going wrong with you, be strong and know that something can be worked out. Something can be done. Don’t give up hope,” she said.

Lewis wanted to thank the doctors and staff who helped her, along with the many people who prayed for her throughout the ordeal. Doctors say she’s healing well.