One year later: "static cling?"

One particularly emotional aspect of the AED conference deserves its own post. When we all met in Miami it was a poignant anniversary - one year since we had been in Salzburg, Austria for ICED - and got the news of Erin Riederer's death.

Erin's mother, Joan, is a longtime activist in the parent ED community. When I stumbled into ED world and started getting involved there was a group of moms already long at work speaking up and showing up and showing amazing patience at the pace of change - and they welcomed me. Many of these moms are still at it - years and years later. They are my models, and inspiration. People like Joan, and M.B. Krohel, and Kitty Westin keep me grounded and teach me so much.

Last year in Salzburg, I was at lunch with Kitty Westin and June Alexander and Carrie Arnold when Kitty shared the news she'd just learned: that Erin's anorexia had taken her life. The four of us wept and raged. June reached in her pocketbook for a tissue for Kitty - who herself lost her daughter to an eating disorder in 2000 - and pulled out the first soft thing - which turned out to be her daughter's sock tagging along internationally by mistake and static cling. So there in an outdoor cafe we clung to laughter with the tears - and reflected on our helplessness and deep caring for our friend, Joan, who under other circumstances would have been at that cafe with us.

Please never forget that what we are fighting for with our advocacy and our attending and our taking care of one another is this: for Erin. For Joan. For all of us. It isn't an intellectual game, or a chess match. It isn't an empty protest or a party. It's life or death. We are fighting to prevent the ruining of lives, and the crushing of the lives around them.

At Erin's funeral, a group of moms were there, sitting behind Joan. We had the sock, too. We support one another as our right and responsibility and honor.

One year later, many of us were together in Miami - including Joan. She and her longtime conference roomie, M.B. Krohel - one of my idols in the parent advocacy world - and so many people who care not just about Erin's family but about it all - and the connections between us.

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POSTSCRIPT: Within 48 hours, F.E.A.S.T. members made enough donations to meet our organization's pledge. Amazing. THANK YOU to those who responded. A collateral benefit: our partners in the ED world now know just how much the parent community cares about this issue and that we put our money where our interests are. F.E.A.S.T. and our members care about science and about evidence-based current information in the hands of professionals!

The campaign continues, and donations are welcome, but I wanted you to know that we met our goal for 2011 on this as far as F.E.A.S.T.'s pledge and THANK YOU.


    1. Hey Laura;
      I tried to donate at the link, but it did not redirect me to a paypal site, but reloaded the FEAST page. Do you know if this has happened to others?

    2. Thanks for the heads up - should be okay now - PLEASE try again!


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