When the PITA moms started (here's some background on my blog and on FB if you need it; Laura Collins, co-author with Charlotte Bevan of Charlotte's Helix fame, of the fabulous eating disorder primer, Throwing Starfish Across the Sea, has some nice things to say about us) we, along with Jenny, always knew it was the beginning of a magical happening destined to help not just Jenny, but others who struggle with eating disorders and woefully inadequate access to services.
As I wrote the above paragraph and was doing the linking, I came across the news that Charlotte is in the last days of her fight against cancer. It seems almost kismet that on this day I should be asking YOU to consider become starfish thrower in Charlotte's mold.
Doing re-feeding and meal support for a person with an eating disorder is a teachable, coachable skill. If you have successfuly re-fed, using FBT/Maudsley methods, you have worked damn hard to aquire that skill. It's like you've been through the SEAL program of parenting. The knowledge and skill you have gained is a gift--a gift that can help save someone's life as surely as donating an organ would.
You know when people say "If my tragedy can help even one other family . . .?" This is a chance to give that help. Or maybe there was a time when you made some promises to God about helping others if you could just get through this. You can keep that promise. Maybe you got great treatment (as was our case) and you feel like you need to pay it forward.
Where am I going with all this flattery and gentle coercion?
The PITA moms need help throwing a starfish. Gretchen is a 21-year old young woman in Canada who struggles with anorexia. Due to an administrative error, a bed that was supposed to open for her at a treatment center in Toronto won't happen until the spring. She is very sick, but also very much wants recovery and has checked herself into a psychiatric hospital. The problem is that this hospital, as is true of most psych hospitals, doesn't know how to handle eating disorders. She's getting worse by the day.
Gretchen's mother, Janet, mother reached out to Lisa, one of the PITA moms, and because we are clearly both passionate, compassionate, and occassionally a wee bit nuts, we almost immediately came up with an idea of how to help.
Provide Skype meal support for her (in the hospital and then at home), using volunteer moms just like us (we'd do it, but Jenny and fighting Amerigroup have us pretty busy right now). The time committment (if we get 12 moms which is our ideal number) would be 30-60 minutes once a day, every other day. Mom Janet will get the food piece into place on-the-ground. Lisa would administrate, organize and train the group (so much easier than you would think thanks to Facebook). We'd love to have moms from around the globe as that helps cover all times without disrupting lives. Our timeline for continuuing this (at home once she is out of hospital) is the two to three months until she gets into a program.
I know this sounds crazy--and it is--but it is also amazing and magical and a gift of love and wouldn't you want someone to help your child like this?
All that is left is to ask you to email if you are interested at firstname.lastname@example.org or friend me on FB (Jennifer Denise Taunton Ouellette) and message me.
Time committment: 1 hour every other day for a few months . . . Reward? Helping save a life . . . Value? Priceless.
P.S. If your excuse is you don't Skype, neither did I! If it's because you don't use FB, that's easy to solve! If it's because you're worried you will fall in love with Gretchen as we did Jenny, I say, it's worth it!
P.P.S. A commenter asked me to explain refeeding and this was my response: