Our Work in Action – An EDRC Client Shares Her Family’s Story
My daughter Lauren was diagnosed with an eating disorder five years ago. As a parent, I just didn’t see it. I didn’t understand and I didn’t know how we would treat it. Lauren had always been athletic. She took dancing lessons at 2 years old. Then at about age 7 or 8 she began Sports Acro, which is acrobats, dance, and tumbling all combined. Around 11 she began synchronized swimming which combined all her past sports. She swam until she was about 21 years old. However, at age 18 she became sick with the eating disorder. Lauren lost all her toning and muscle, and she eventually found it too difficult to continue swimming.
Lauren was in and out of the hospital for about 2-3 years before finally finding the right treatment program for her. EDRC was so helpful giving me books, information about different programs and insights into my daughter’s mindset. They recommended group sessions and helped me vet treatment programs. It was a long ordeal and my daughter was in the hospital several times. But thanks to EDRC, we found a great program in the Bay Area and our daughter and our family are finally on the road to recovery.
Now I am so pleased to share that she is finishing her last year at the University of Hawaii for a psychology degree. She has maintained her weight for 2 1/2 years now. She is healthy so she can pursue a new sport – tandem surfing. Her partner, Chuck, is the world champion of the sport, and when he saw Lauren practicing with another friend was very impressed. With the new sport, she has to maintain a weight ratio with her partner or they cannot compete. He is a personal trainer so he is working with her to rebuild her muscle and toning. She is so happy – with school, her new friends, and her new sport.
On another positive note, as a result of Lauren’s struggle, her younger sister Jennifer has chosen to become a dietitian to help treat others who are struggling with this complex medical and psychological illness. She is hopeful she can help others as she has seen her sister recover. Jennifer graduated this month from Johnson and Wales University and plans to enter a coordinated program at Texas State University in January 2013 to acquire her certification as a Registered Dietitian and Master’s degree in nutrition.
Making Headlines: Eating Disorders in Older Women
NBC Health writer Erika Edwards recently interviewed EDRC Executive Director, Janice Bremis, on Eating Disorders in Older Women. The segment was in response to a new study by Cynthia Bulik, which reveals young women are not the only ones who suffer from eating disorders. The segment was aired 259 times on NBC affiliates worldwide. Click here to see video. Articles on the topic have also appeared in USA Today, MSNBC and Star Tribute, among others. Check out article by MSNBC Health Editor Jonel Aleccia: Eating disorders, weight worries still stalk women after 50, study finds.
Save the Date – NEDA Walk
EDRC and Cielo House invite you to the first ever National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Walk in Silicon Valley. Each year these life-threatening illnesses afflict more then 11 million Americans. It’s time to talk about, and it’s time to walk about it!
The walk will be held Saturday, September 22, 2012 starting at 9:30 a.m. at Plaza de Cesar Chavez in downtown San José. Our Keynote speaker will be Tracey Gold from Starving Secrets and Growing Pains. Proceeds will go to NEDA and EDRC. NEDA provides national support for a toll-free helpline, research grants, age-appropriate education programs, and a website that focuses on treatment and life saving information.
Bring friends and family for this fun day that will include a live band, booths, games, face painting and more. More information about starting a team and donations can be found here. We look forward to seeing you there!
Eating Disorders Coalition Wins Big for Eating Disorders Research
Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee agreed to 2013 funding for federally financed health research. Under the leadership of the Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy and Action (EDC), the funding bill contains a congressional directive “urging the National Institute of Health (NIH) to expand, intensify, and coordinate its research on eating disorders and to examine the possibility of creating collaborative consortia on eating disorders research.”
This initiative holds out the prospect of attaining two key EDC goals: the first is greater attention to and the coordination of eating disorders research across nine National Institutes of Health who possess active research portfolios in this area; the second is increased support for federal Centers of Excellence in eating disorders research at academic medical centers and universities in the United States. The EDC drew inspiration for this breakthrough initiative from the research sections of the House and Senate Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders Act (the FREED Act). A special thank you to EDRC and EDC Board member Seham El-Diwany and EDRC volunteer advocates who helped make this possible.
New AMA Online Course on Eating Disorders for Physicians
The American Medical Association (AMA) now offers a new online course designed to help educate physicians about eating disorders. The goal is to promote earlier detection and intervention. The course, “Screening and Managing Eating Disorders in Primary Practice,” is part of the organization’s Educating Physicians on Controversies and Challenges in Health (EPoCH) program.
According to officials of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), the online program provides a basic diagnostic overview of all eating disorders. The program reviews the screening and referral process and briefly describes the role of the primary care physician plays in treating patients with eating disorders. Both NEDA and AMA officials feel the eating disorders curriculum fills a much-needed void, helping more patients receive care and perhaps preventing severe chronic disorders. The AMA has also made a commitment to aggressively promote the course’s availability to the medical community.
EDRC Support Group Updates
EDRC offers free monthly support groups throughout Silicon Valley. The Santa Cruz Body Image and Eating Disorders Support Group has changed locations and now meets at Lotus Collaborative at 701 Mission Street. Groups led by Emily Carruthers and Carolyn Blackman. A NEW group at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View is led by therapist Elizabeth Basile the first and third Saturday mornings of each month. Finally, there is a NEW upcoming support group in Menlo Park…TBA. Stay tuned!
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