Forging Ahead

I am writing this at Newark Airport sitting on the none too clean ground next to an outlet trying to catch some free wifi.  The plane I was scheduled to leave on at 3:00 pm was cancelled and everything else to Toronto has been grounded.  So here I am bone tired, on a dirty carpet, sipping a cup of cold tea and typing a post.  Not a very auspicious launch of the new F.E.A.S.T. Blog.  I would much rather be home in my familiar and comfortable bed but perhaps this is more fitting as there is really nothing familiar, comfortable or easy about eating disorders.
I am on my way home from ICED (more on that later in week).  Our Laura Collins was given this year's AED Advocacy award. It is hard to convey just how moving this was in real time (suffice to say there were a lot of tear stained faces and mad standing and clapping at the end). Like many, many other parents I credit F.E.A.S.T. with saving my daughter's life. I was lucky to find ATDT early and through the forum I learnt what I needed to do to get us through.   Perhaps more important though is what I learnt from Laura about how to be to get us through. This illness brings us to our knees and it is easy to forget that we can and should have expectations.  Laura reminds us to hold on to a humble and healthy sense of entitlement and to stay the course in seeking better information, better treatment, and better care for our children. The magnitude of this can not be underestimated.    

Laura Collins raised her voice:  She built relationships; she asked questions; she sought to understand and she demanded engagement.  She raised her voice when it was difficult to do so. She raised her voice when it would have been comfortable, familiar and easy not to.  She tolerated her own distress and we have to tolerate ours.  As Laura forges new paths ahead, so must we. We have to take our love and admiration and need for Laura Collins and channel it.  We have to do some crazy alchemy and turn our gratitude into slivers of 'fierce advocacy' that we can embody and use. 

We don't need to do it all and we don't all need to do it big...we just need to do it.  So, my hope is this Blog will be one sliver and provide a space for us to engage and share...and to raise our voices.    


  1. This is a wonderful blog post and thank you for starting it up and keeping us all informed. I certainly wish I could have been there in person to see Laura presented with this award. She is so deserving of it and I must say, I view her work as bringing on phenomenal change in the ED world in spite of coming across very challenging barriers. When we in the advocacy world stand up to speak up and out, no matter where in the world we are, it makes a difference. Laura provided the platform for us all, has been the guiding light of strength and reason. It was just under 3 years ago I learned of FEAST and ATDT and Laura Collins; all instrumental in helping me save my young daughter's life and guiding me to help educate others in the ED world in my neck of the woods.

    It does feel daunting when one is perpetually up against constant discourse and deeply engrained, unhelpful and uneducated beliefs. When 1 advocate stands up in one part of the world then we are all suddenly united. Our voices will be heard and we can thank Laura for helping to forge that path, bring ED advocates together from all corners of the world and helping to establish a vital organisation in the UK to help with gaining DNA samples and funding for ANGI25K; Charlotte's Helix.

    Thank you Laura for all you have done, for your encouragement and support, your guidance and sense of reason with those who find it difficult or impossible to accept new approaches based on science/evidence. Much love, G

  2. I have only "known" Laura on the peripheral, through friends like Gaby and others. I admire Laura from afar and hope that my advocacy work can mirror hers for she has provided us with a platform that is truly remarkable. Wishing her all the wonders of whatever journey life presents to her now - and thanking her with immense gratitude for all she has done. Lisa, thanks to you for beginning this blog and for everything you do to continue to light the path forward.

    Lisa (another Torontonian)

  3. Laura - creator of the F.E.A.S.T. on-line family

  4. I am so excited to be involved in the next phase of advocacy building on what Laura created. We have a strong and powerful voice and we need to make sure it is heard. Together we are so much more than we are as individuals.

  5. This is wonderful. Voices for better care, better information.
    I like that vision...and look forward to reading some lively blog topics ...

  6. Laura will continue to guide and inspire us- we are going to being our weeks with 'Advocacy Mondays'....and Laura C. will be first guest post!


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