I once overheard Chase Bannister tell someone he would rather be a florist. If, collectively, we discovered a cure — if somehow, someway — eating disorders received a final knockout punch and exited the ring, he would become a florist. Chase could spend his days blissfully arranging beautiful bouquets, and we would all be delighted to join him. But until that day, collectively, we march in the fight against eating disorders.
We march for the college student whose mind is consumed by how he will avoid offers to share a meal, instead of creating memories and fostering budding friendships.
We march for the ten year old who spent her summer in treatment instead of at camp.
We march for the athlete who thinks they need to be thinner to win.
We march for the parent who has struggled with an eating disorder and prays every night their child will not endure the same fate.
We march for anyone who has ever felt unworthy of food or ashamed after standing on a scale.
We march for the friends and siblings who have watched a childhood playmate transform and withdraw into a person they do not recognize – and feel powerless to help.
We march to raise the veil of eating disorders like to hide behind.
We march for the parent who drives 10 hours each way, every weekend, to visit their child in treatment.
We march for every patient whose access to treatment has been hindered by cost.
We march to continue the conversation. Why is the most fatal mental illness the most ignored?
We march for the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends who have lost a loved one battling an eating disorder.
We march for our, and your, unborn children who we hope will live in a world where eating disorders do not exist.
But until eating disorders are eradicated, we will march.
We will march until our united voices are heard.
So maybe, one day, we can all be florists.
Written by Veronica Burr, Outreach Associate
Register for the Second Annual M.O.M March, and join us as we use our voices to #MarchAgainstED on October 27, 2015.