Sunday, July 19, 2009

Anorexic Teen's Tragic Death

An article in yesterday's Sun Herald highlighted the need to raise awareness of the devastating consequences of anorexia after the tragic death of 19 year old Jessica Macmillan.

Jessica had been battling anorexia nervosa for seven years and took her own life on 13 June. Her family have organised a walkathon to raise money and awareness for the Butterfly Foundation, an organisation of which I am an avid supporter.

The Butterfly Foundation actively helps and supports families and individuals suffering from eating disorders and tirelessly works to promote the dangers of dieting.

Jessica's death is proof that there is so much more that needs to be done to give hope to those struggling with eating issues and help them feel less alone.

Several of the young people I interviewed for my book Why Can't I Look the Way I Want; Overcoming Eating Issues struggled with suicidal thoughts and spoke of the hopelessness and desperation they felt. One said "I thought that by ending my life, I'd finally find peace and I'd never have to feel like this again". Another girl wrote to me in an email "I'm so tired of the struggle and feel as though I've lost hope. Please help me because I want so much to get better". I dedicated a chapter to answering this question because it means everything to have hope. As Christopher Reeve famously said "once you choose hope, anything is possible".

The only way forward is to raise awareness of these devastating illnesses and give people hope by showing how recovery is possible.

'Walk for Jess' will be at Parramatta Park on Saturday from 10.30am.

To read the article go here:

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