DC Event with Kathleen MacDonald

This year for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week my friend, Kathleen MacDonald, and I are doing an awareness event together for the first time. One of the benefits of my work is that I get to meet a number of dedicated and passionate people out there who do this kind of work, mostly out of sight, to help the rest of us: and Kathleen is perhaps the most generous and genuinely positive one I know. Kathleen is one of the tireless advocates out there working for free for years to help save lives and improve lives of those affected by eating disorders.

I have had the honor of knowing Kathleen for some time, especially because I support and volunteer for the Eating Disorders Coalition where she is a longtime volunteer and now the Policy Assistant. I also know her through her work for the FREED Foundation. This is a woman who would rather go without a hairbrush than skimp on gasoline to make it to another school on her College tour schedule. And a lovely head of hair she has! This is a brave pioneer who tells her story to inspire others - including our US Congress - to take action. She is a fierce advocate of patients but not a pushover: she means business when it comes to fighting an eating disorder. She means fight!

Yet the thing I appreciate most about Kathleen is that she puts up with me. Even though we don't agree on all the particulars, even though we come at the illness from different directions - she and I have a mutual respect and fondness that keeps us focused on the big picture. I have been grateful for her patience with me, and her willingness to openly discuss things that many people might consider untouchable. I truly believe that THIS is the kind of relationship that keeps us all moving forward. Plus, I really value our friendship just for who she is. Her humor, her grit, and her thoughtfulness.

If you're near DC on March 2, I hope you'll come share an hour or so with Kathleen and I. If you know her, I'd like to meet you. And if you know me, I'd like you to meet her.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week Event in Washington DC


  1. You're a funny woman! I have never seen it as "putting up with you", but if that is how you see it, I want you to know that it is my privilege to 'put up with you'. And I can only imagine that you also put up with me, then, too ;)

    Your blogpost today came at the perfect time. I opened it after I read an email from a dad whose daughter died from what he described as "our lack of funding for treatment." While I don't know the family personally, I was moved to tears of sadness, as well as frustration.

    I never pretend to be more than I am in this field, nor do I think I can do it all to 'save the world from ED' --but today I was reminded, b/c of the dad's email & then b/c of your verily humbling blog post, of what I want to continue doing, and also of what I NEED to do better. I want to live up to what you wrote.

    Thank you for re-inspiring me to be who I want to be(come).

    If I were to die tomorrow, I'd want to know I had lived up to your words. You motivate me and I really appreciate that boost today.

  2. Laura and Kathleen, thank you both so much for all the work that you do and for going to this awareness event. So much needs to be accomplished before we can be assured that all sufferers of the horrors of eating disorders can get timely and effective treatment. It is a very sad thing when a parent knows that treatment will help but they cannot financially provide for it. I mourn that it still happens in this supposedly enlightened age.

  3. Kathleen and Kris, we're all in this together. The tide is turning toward better things and it has a lot to do with the little things we do.


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