Local Fundraising March to Help Those With Eating Disorders Draws a Crowd
More than 100 people strolled to show their support for a world without eating disorders at Liverpool's Long Branch Park this weekend.
It was the 2nd annual walk benefitting Ophelia's Place and the National Eating Disorders Association.
Karen Carpenter was at the peak of her singing career when she died from anorexia. Ophelia's Place Executive Director Jodie Wilson says Carpenter's death helped her get on the road to recovery.
"I struggled as a teen with anorexia and when Karen Carpenter died, that was a shock for me. I realized at that point that I had an illness I needed help for."
Author Jenni Schaefer wrote the book "Goodbye Ed, Hello Me, Recover from your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life" and says the Liverpool walk is one way for friends and family to learn how to support a loved one dealing with an eating disorder.
"When I was struggling I said to my mom 'I feel fat'. It became important for my mom to say 'I don't understand how you feel fat, but I believe that you feel that way, I believe that's your experience'. And that's so important, to feel supported."
Family and friends joined Ithaca's Tierney O'Connor at the march. Now in recovery, she thanks the Sol Stone Center in Elmira for teaching her ways to quiet the 'voice' of her eating disorder.
"Say positive things about yourself and to not judge yourself based upon your body because your body is what it is. It helps you, it's your house and you take care of it and you love it and does so many amazing things for you."
Jodie Wilson says about 60% of the proceeds from the walk will stay locally, funding body-image workshops for area students.