Friday, September 18, 2015

Over 130 Orgs Support #AnnaWestinAct

Dear EDC Advocates,

We are so pleased to share with you that over 130 organizations signed onto a letter (see pix) addressed to Chairman +Congressman Fred Upton and Ranking Minority Member +Congressman Frank Pallone , urging them to include the #AnnaWestinAct in comprehensive mental health legislation.

We will continue to advocate for the #AnnaWestinAct as a 'stand-alone bill,' as both are necessary.

Thank you to each and everyone of the organizations who signed onto this letter.  

We will have more opportunities for both individuals and organizations to lend their support to the #AnnaWestinAct, so please stay tuned to our blog, FB and Twitter!

If you have any questions about the #AnnaWestinAct, we encourage you to join us for EDCNationalLobbyDay so you can learn more about the bill and our work. And, you are always welcome to email us your questions, any time.

~Our work continues, the +EDCoalition1 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Help By Giving Blood?

Want To Help Eliminate Eating Disorders?  Read On...And Give Blood!

ANGI(Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative) is an international study on the genetics of anorexia nervosa.  ANGI is the largest and most rigorous genetic investigation of eating disorders ever conducted.  Researchers in the United States, Sweden, Australia, and Denmark will collect clinical information and blood samples from over 13,000 people (male and female) with a history of anorexia nervosa and 13,000 individuals without an eating disorder.  ANGI represents a global research effort to detect genetic variation that contributes to this potentially life-threatening illness. The goal of the research study is to transform our knowledge about the causes of eating disorders to work toward greater understanding and ultimately a cure.

If you are interested in participating, your contribution would include a brief survey and a blood sample.  If you have never had anorexia nervosa, but still want to contribute, we invite your participation as well.  Participants receive a $25 Amazon gift certificate.

Only with your participation can we achieve our goal of eliminating this devastating illness.

To find out if you are eligible to participate, visit this link and fill out the survey:

Alternatively, if you would like to receive fliers and brochures to spread the word about ANGI, we will be happy to send those.

For more information call us toll free at 1-855-746-2547, email or visit

9/16 Action Alert in Massachusetts

Dear Advocates --

Please call your Massachusetts state representative TODAY and request their support of H.3471

The +EDCoalition1 , along with +National Eating Disorders Association , STRIPED (The Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders,) and MEDA (Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association) and countless MA advocates need your help TODAY:

Massachusetts H. 3471 is important legislation that will ban the sale of dietary supplements for weight loss and muscle building to minors and require retail stores to move these supplements behind the counter.  H. 3471 is scheduled for a hearing in the Massachusetts Committee on Public Health this Thursday, September 17th.  There are many drug companies advocating against this bill --we need YOUR voice to help ensure this bill's success.

 +NEDA Staff  designed this awesome Action Alert for you to make your calls today:

Please CALL NOW to voice your support! 
Please Click here to find contact information for your district’s Representative and ask him or her to SUPPORT on H.3471 today! If your Representative is not in the office, simply leave a message with the office staff, explaining that support for this legislation is absolutely crucial.   Every call counts! Your voice can help protect Massachusetts’ youth!

Further from NEDA: Did you know that no dietary supplements used for weight loss and muscle building are pre-screened by the FDA for safety? These products are unsafe and have even been linked to testicular cancer, stroke, and severe liver injury. Teens, especially those who struggle with eating disorders and body image, are most susceptible to the false claims of dietary supplements, putting them at high risk for bodily harm.  YOU can help put a stop to this! 

The EDC is humbled to have been asked by Harvard's STRIPED faculty and EDC Board Member, Bryn Austin, Sc.D., to write the first draft of H.3471.  Dr. Austin's research helped pave the way for this bill.  Thank you for allowing us to have a small part in this with you, MEDA, NEDA and all the MA advocates who are working to make this bill a law.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


It's ‪#‎WorldSuicidePreventionDay‬... so I'm feeling much tonight thinking about all my friends who fell victim to suicide because of an eating disorder or otherwise...and I'm sitting in beyond-humble-awe that I was somehow able to choose not to end my life on June 13, 2002.

I'm also thinking about the upcoming Eating Disorders Coalition National Lobby Day and the MOM "Mothers & Others" March. I'm thinking about how many people are feeling like I was back in 2002 --desperately waiting for someone to help. 

Leslie George
Anna Westin
A big part of the reason I am alive (so very humbly alive) today is because the Eating Disorders Coalition, Kitty Westin, Sally Crist George, Ron and Leslie George (Tri Sigma's LESLIE GEORGE MEMORIAL FUND for Eating Disorder Awareness ). I am just one voice -but I have learned, very humbly, that my voice can make a difference. So I want to encourage you tonight: YOUR voice can make a difference --and YOUR voice IS necessary regardless of what you might think/not think of yourself in this very moment.

Back in 2002, I NEVER thought I mattered at all --I hated myself beyond words can express...I thought I could never recover, never be happy and that no one would ever care if I was alive or dead. If I can pull myself out of all that (and more) and find my voice/happiness, I encourage you: so, too, can you.

It is a truly humbling thing to go from hating oneself to knowing that I deserve to be alive. That is something I do not take for granted. So tonight I want to encourage you of just how important it is that you learn to know that you deserve to feel truly worthy of being alive, happy and in love with your wonderful body.

If you or someone you love has ever struggled with body image, disordered eating, eating disorders or things related to those issues, then I implore you to join me on October 27-28th to ‪#‎MarchAgainstED‬ and to advocate for the ‪#‎AnnaWestinAct‬.
To learn more about why this is so important, please visit:
 To register to March and Advocate, please visit:

 ~Kathleen MacDonald, Director of Social Media & Advocate Relation


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Mother Marches...

Why I Will March on October 27, 2015 

I will March on October 27 and lobby on October 28th to try and mend my broken heart and broken spirit. 

My heart was ripped open 15 years ago when my daughter died of anorexia. My spirit was trampled and I did not know if I would ever build it up again. Over the years I have found ways to heal my heart and rekindle my spirit. I have built scar tissue around the wounds and I have become a stronger person as a result.  I have seen progress in the fight against eating disorders but I also see how far we need to go to win the war. 

I will March on October 27th because I hear from sufferers and their family and friends every day. Reading words like these reopens old wounds and crushes my spirit: “I am to far gone to be helped at home. I cannot get the level of care I need. I know I will die of this eating disorder.” How can this be? How can we still be fighting the same15 years later? How can anyone deny people who are suffering and facing death the care they desperately need to save their lives? I will not stop asking these questions until we have answers. I will continue to fight until I am confident that we are doing all we can to train professionals, hold insurance companies accountable and give everyone with an eating disorder a fighting chance. 

I want everyone to know that it is possible to mend a broken heart and a broken spirit. I have had some amazing conversations these past few weeks that give me renewed hope and confidence that we have the support needed to pass federal legislation, The Anna Westin Act, that will address some of the issues we in the eating disorders community face. During a recent visit with Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) he asked me why anyone would oppose the Anna Westin Act and Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN) stated, “It is clear that Mental Health Parity intended to cover eating disorders.” Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) who is one of our champions for the bill said, “Millions of Americans are affected by the crippling symptoms of eating disorders but very few get the help they need…..Whether that is due to late detection or insufficient insurance coverage, we should be doing more to give patients like Anna the tools they need to overcome these diseases.”  My spirit is lifted and my heart continues to heal when I hear words such as these

I know that we are on an uphill climb but in the words of Robert Kennedy, “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” We are the women and men who are striking out against injustice. We are creating a wave of hope. 

Please join me and register to march with us on October 27th. Please lobby with us on Oct 28th. Please be part of the movement that will end the discrimination, the ignorance, and the suffering of millions of Americans affected by eating disorders. 

~Kitty Westin, Anna's mom