Monday, March 2, 2015

#WhyWeWalk Best Moments

#WhyWeWalk best moments: A Recap of the 4th Annual Celebrating EveryBODY: A Walk for Eating Disorders Awareness

There are so many "best moments" to share with you from this past weekend's 4th Annual Celebrating EveryBODY walk. Some of them include: watching a brave young woman share about her first 365 days of recovery in front of the walk-audience, which included a group of her friends and the teacher who helped the young woman recognize she needed help; seeing women and men of all ages, shapes and sizes come together to raise awareness; watching volunteers work their patooties off to make the event crazy-successful and without a hitch; witnessing the rain hold off until THE very moment the first walkers completed the course (#miraculous!!); hanging out with +EDCoalition1 advocates in sunny Florida!; finally meeting friends in person who for years I've only known via FB; receiving hugs of gratitude and hearing people say, "Thank you for saying what you said about "it's a given I am beautiful, because I am alive."; and so many other moments that I will not soon forget.

But by far the best moment I recall from the walk is when I had the huge honor of surprising Johanna Kandel by asking her to come forward on the stage so that the audience could share their gratitude with her, and the all those from the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness​ who helped make the walk possible.  IMMEDIATELY upon asking Johanna to come forward, nearly 800 people rose to their feet and resounding applause echoed throughout the park, for a good few minutes.  I was in tears watching such an incredible woman receive such a beautiful tribute. 

Johanna and her team of Alliance volunteers deserved every single ounce of the love and gratitude that poured forth in that applause and standing ovation.  One of the reasons Johanna has helped so many is because she has an unwavering dedication to ensure that no one will suffer without resources in the way she did back when she suffered an eating disorder.  Her work-ethic and compassion are beyond incredible and I wish I had even one ounce of her energy and ability to make it all look so easy.  The fact is, what Johanna and all the crew at the Alliance do day after day is not easy.  It is hard work --emotionally, physically, mentally, financially, etc.  But it is also necessary work and I am so inspired by the way Johanna and the Alliance team have charged themselves with their mission.  I was so humbled by Johanna this weekend, yet again --humbled to do more, to work harder, to never ever stop doing my small part of all that needs to be done to help ensure that one day: eating disorders will NO longer be the deadliest of all mental illnesses! #thetimeisnow

The Alliance walk was by far and without a doubt, the most incredible walk for eating disorders awareness that I have ever attended. I hope to have the privilege of attending for many many more years to come and I encourage you to consider being a part of the walk, too.

Our work continues... ~Kathleen

For more pictures, please visit the EDC's FB page:

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