Doctors in Miami to remove girl's 16-pound tumor

At 15, Lai Thi Dao has never been to school, has no friends and is rarely allowed outside her family's home because her parents hoped to spare her from the curious stares of neighbors in their small mountain village in Vietnam.

All that, she hopes, will change beginning next week, when she undergoes surgery at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital to remove a massive growth that has consumed the lower half of her face.

Lai suffers from a massive Schwannoma tumor, a benign growth that began with a small lump in her tongue but swelled over the years to a size roughly one-third her body weight.

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