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


3 comments:

Jemelle Oneill said...

Thank you for fighting for us! We need the right treatment, not just treatment. I have had an ED since I was very young over 20 years now. I have my son I want to live for, that I have to live for. However all my insurance covers is basically "band-aid" treatment. If ED's could be treated the right way it would actually be cheaper for insurance companies in the long run. But they don't think that way. I have lost friends to this illness. I am so sorry you lost your Daughter. I could never imagine losing a child. My heart goes out to you. Your Daughter is smiling down on you. Again, thank you!

Becky said...

So proud of you my pioneer friend Kitty Westin! You're so bravely carrying on Anna's beautiful voice and using her strong voice to be the change. You have taken Anna's voice and made the path smoother for so many. I'm so grateful that you tirelessly continue to work to help make that path smooth for all.

For it is sadly a very small minority who have a smooth, quick and easy journey through these most deadly of all mental illnesses. So many of us have had our lives torn to shreds, our bodies sickened from the stresses and our relationships ruined by these vastly misunderstood and little researched illnesses.

Kitty, I'm so grateful that you choose to fight to heal your broken heart and spirit. And I am beyond grateful to have had the honor of writing your dear Anna's story. It has been a joy getting to know her, even though we didn't meet in the flesh. I love her spirit and the way she is helping you and others be her voice.
Becky Henry
Founder, Hope Network, LLC

Becky said...

So proud of you my pioneer friend Kitty Westin! You're so bravely carrying on Anna's beautiful voice and using her strong voice to be the change. You have taken Anna's voice and made the path smoother for so many. I'm so grateful that you tirelessly continue to work to help make that path smooth for all.

For it is sadly a very small minority who have a smooth, quick and easy journey through these most deadly of all mental illnesses. So many of us have had our lives torn to shreds, our bodies sickened from the stresses and our relationships ruined by these vastly misunderstood and little researched illnesses.

Kitty, I'm so grateful that you choose to fight to heal your broken heart and spirit. And I am beyond grateful to have had the honor of writing your dear Anna's story. It has been a joy getting to know her, even though we didn't meet in the flesh. I love her spirit and the way she is helping you and others be her voice.
Becky Henry
Founder, Hope Network, LLC