Treatment Grant Recipient Testimonials

Your donations go directly to helping eating disorder sufferers to recover and gain back their lives. Hear from our treatment grant recipients on what the Project HEAL Treatment Grant means to them.

 

My life changed forever when I met the girls of Project HEAL and was sent to Remuda Ranch. Not only was I given an amazing opportunity that I thank God for, but I also learned that there was hope, that someone DID care and believe in me, and there was more to me than being sick. The recovery journey and unmatched kindness and compassion of Project HEAL have helped to shine a light in my darkness and call to an end my secret and silent suffering. Thank you Project HEAL! I don’t know where I’d be without you [and I don’t want to know]. Because of your help I am alive, and I am LIVING.
— Angela
After battling my eating disorder for nearly a decade and with no financial means or insurance to help with treatment costs, I didn’t know how I could ever really recover. I was gifted a treatment grant and if there were a greater word for “gift” I would use it here. It was as if every prayer had been answered. Project HEAL reached out and told me I had a life worth saving. And that five letter word, worth, has carried me to where I am today.
— Danielle
Danielle.png
Jordan.png
Project HEAL came to my rescue when insurance refused to keep me in treatment as long as I needed to be. I honestly can’t imagine what life would be like otherwise, which amazes me because at the time, I couldn’t imagine life without an eating disorder. Recovery is truly possible with the willingness to try and a solid support system. I’m so happy that Project HEAL has been a part of that support system for me, and I will always be grateful!
— Jordan
Dear My Saviors,

I thank you a million times for giving me the opportunity to be a part of princeton. This program taught me a lot, made me happy, laugh, smile, grow & live! You are all my role models! It was great to meet people (you) who understand me, and that since you guys all recovered, there’s hope for me also! Thank you so much!
— Jessica
Jessica.png
Theresa.png
Receiving the treatment grant from Project HEAL came at the best possible opportunity. I had taken out a personal loan to receive the residential treatment I needed, but I wasn’t ready to leave treatment when my loan money was exhausted. Luckily, I received the grant and was able to extend my stay and tackle the issues that had encouraged my eating disorder for over ten years. Thank you Project HEAL for all of the work you do in educating the world on eating disorders and their treatment. I feel privileged to have received your help and I am awed by the impact you have made on my life and the lives of so many others.
— Tricia
The grant from Project HEAL provided me with the opportunity to receive treatment for my decade-long eating disorder, something I couldn’t have afforded on my own. Receiving treatment undoubtedly saved my life, gifting me with hope in a future filled with self-love and a healthy body image I never imagined was possible to achieve. I am eternally grateful to Project HEAL for believing in me enough to make such an investment in my recovery and life.
— Stephanie
Stephanie.png
When I first heard about Project HEAL, I was in a very dark and hopeless place in my life.  I was so consumed by my eating disorder that not only did I believe recovery was impossible for me, but also that I wasn’t worth saving.  I was lost. When Project HEAL awarded me the treatment grant, they gave me the chance to get my life back.  They gave me a chance to get the treatment I needed and would have been unable to get on my own.  It was truly the chance of a lifetime!  I completed residential treatment in April 2012 and returned home with a renewed sense of hope—recovery IS possible, even for me.
— Kim
Project HEAL has given me the opportunity to get my life back and no words will ever be able to express how thankful I am for the journey I am currently embarking on. I know this journey will not be a straight line, there will be setbacks, there will be triumphs, there will be obstacles; but I do know that because of Project HEAL I have a rock solid support system behind me and the tactics to endure on this road to full recovery. I am eternally grateful for Liana, Kristina and the wonderful gift of Project HEAL.
— Amanda
Amanda.png
Teresa.png
The Project HEAL grant has fostered resilience in my life. Through Project HEAL’s immense generosity, I was able to attend treatment. Liana and Kristina supported me tirelessly throughout my four-month treatment, recovery and beyond. I have been able to tap into my talents, making room become to the person I want to be. Thank you Project HEAL for believing in me when I didn’t.
— Teresa
The Project HEAL treatment grant has impacted my life by giving me hope, inspiration and aspiration of leading an independent life where I can explore my dreams, wants and desires without having to worry about the views and opinions I placed on food. It provided me with a sense of security to know that I could receive help that was needed for me to maneuver life’s obstacles while being able to enjoy my days with the one’s I love and doing what I love most, living.
— Adam
Adam.png
Amanda2.png
My experience with Project HEAL was nothing short of life-changing. Receiving the treatment grant has transformed me.   I just want to say that Project HEAL is the best-kept secret in the U.S. I know many people struggling with similar eating disorders; it truly is an epidemic in our society. But treatment is so costly and it takes quite a bit of coordination and time to get into one let alone pay for it. Project HEAL save lives and empowers people to overcome a debilitating illness.
— Mandy
Project HEAL helped me take all the necessary steps to arrive at a treatment facility that I desperately needed. Then, my preserving, experienced and compassionate treatment team took the reins and led me to the shores of recovery. Now, I finally have the tools to cultivate a healthy, whole hearted and compassionate lifestyle. The goals and ambitions I have set for myself are no longer out of sight; I know my future plans are possible. Nonetheless, recovery isn’t over. It continues to be an active, daily choice that I must work hard for. Eventually, recovery will evolve into a natural course of events, but in the meantime, I will choose recovery. Thank you Project HEAL!
— Karina
Karina.png
Carla.png
When Project HEAL called and told me that I had been awarded a treatment grant, I was standing in front of the mirror and at that moment I began to see who I wanted to be. Project HEAL gave me the armor, gave me the tools, and gave me the hope I needed to make it let go. Thank you Project HEAL for giving me warmth, leading me to the light, and extending a sense of comfort, when all I had was it keeping me cold, keeping me strained, and keeping all I could be somewhere in the dark.
— Carla
Allowing myself to be vulnerable and ask for help from Project HEAL has turned out to be one of the best choices of my life. Outwardly, I had so many markers of success: a happy relationship, a decent job, a Ph.D. But on the inside, I was completely falling apart from years of living with anorexia.The gift from Project HEAL allowed me to attend residential treatment for the first time, and it was the most beneficial experience I could have asked for. After 10+ years with anorexia, I never imagined the possibility of a life without an eating disorder. These days, I’m starting to recognize that I can have a life outside of anorexia. I will never forget the kindness and support that Liana and Kristina gave to me, and I am doing my best to pay it forward.
— Melanie
Lieba.png
I started the recovery part of my journey in 2013, which is 5 years after originally being diagnosed in 2008. I went through many different treatment centers and programs through the past couple years. But time and time again I was continuously relapsing and leaving treatment before I was ready for a number of different reasons. So in August 2014 after I discharged from a two and half month stay at a residential treatment center with no step down plan in order, I found myself walking through the streets of New York City crying. I remember I called my older brother and he could not even understand me because I was crying so hard. I called him because I wanted to tell him how badly I wanted recovery, how badly I wanted to be able to take my time in treatment and not worry about the money and how badly I felt like I deserved a chance to recover just like everyone else. So I went home that night and I took my recovery into my own hands and I applied to Project HEAL. I applied to Project HEAL without ever thinking I had a chance of getting the scholarship because I was so beaten down by the system of insurance companies cutting you, and the system of no step down program, and the system of mothers calling the shots when this needed to be about me and my treatment and recovery.

But in late November 2014 my life was forever changed. I remember exactly where I was standing when Project Heal called me and told me I had been awarded a treatment grant. I remember just being amazed at the power of hope in this world. I was shocked. I was happy. I was scared. I was upset. I was motivated and defeated all at one time. Project Heal gave me my life back by sending me to treatment where I could finally for the first time in my life take my damn time and not worry about money or my mother or anything else. They gave me time to be so persistent in my recovery, so that my eating disorder didn’t stand a chance to take one more day away from me.  All I had to worry about in treatment was me and my recovery. This concept was so foreign to me. I received treatment from the most inspiring team of support I could have ever asked for. Project Heal and a few therapists in treatment were the first group of people that ever showed me that full recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Through their own struggle I saw people that have been in my shoes and had literally gone to treatment where I had been and are now doing the work that I so badly want and will be doing one day.

In the eating disorder world we try to never give numbers power. We try to move away from the energy that is focused on weight, clothing sizes and calories. But there is one number I want to focus on. In Judaism the number 18 is a very significant number. It means Chai which is directly translated as life. I think it is no coincidence at all that I was the 18th treatment grant recipient from Project Heal. They gave me Chai.
— Lieba
I am very fortunate to have Kristina and Liana supporting me in my recovery. I am so grateful that the Project HEAL gave me an opportunity to start my life over. It’s my pleasure to be the recipient of this grant and represent this organization. Before I started my treatment, it felt like I was standing one foot in the water and one foot ashore. I really wanted to go swimming, but was afraid to let go my behaviors. Today, I am barely starting testing the water, but I know that one day I will be able to go swimming!!! Thank you very much for giving me a chance!!!
— Elizaveta
Liza.png
For the past year and a half, I have been in recovery. However, student loans and a large hospital bill left me with inconsistent treatment since moving back to northern California. Project HEAL has truly provided me with the best opportunity. I can now have more frequent and appropriate treatment so that I can reach my goals and ultimately become a therapist myself. The things that Project HEAL stands for – helping others reach their full potential and get their life back – is what I want to be able to do for others in the future. The enjoyment I am now getting from living a full life and pursuing my goals for the future serve as my inspiration for choosing recovery every day and accepting support, no matter how difficult. Project HEAL understands, and there is nothing better than feeling supported when we feel we can’t overcome some of the bumps we encounter on our road to recovery.
— Theresa
If it hadn’t been for Project HEAL I would still be living day-in and day-out in my mundane existence. I was leading a dull life with continuous routine and predictable obligations that drained the life out of me. I wasn’t me. I was my anorexia. Recovery use to be just a dream, but now it is my reality. Recovery not only gave me a voice, but it gave me a life. Recovery is my new life and I’m loving it. It may be a long road of bumps and bruises but it’s so worth it.
— Alexandria
Michelle.png
On February 24th, 2015 I got a call from Project HEAL saying that I had received the treatment grant. That day will forever be the day that changed my life. It was the day that recovery became a real possibility. Project HEAL’s belief in me kept me motivated throughout treatment. They took a chance on me and believed that I was not only worthy of recovery but capable of achieving it too. They were able to see the confidence, determination and potential that I am now seeing in myself. While recovery is a crazy intense roller coaster of feelings, emotions and everything imaginable. Project HEAL was by my side throughout my whole roller coaster ride of recovery. They were that reminding voice that there is an end to the crazy ride. November of 2015 I decided to found the Southeast PA chapter of Project HEAL. Being a treatment grant recipient and chapter leader has given me the opportunity to and motivation to keep moving forward in my recovery. With Project HEAL’s help I have been able to gain back not only who I was before my eating disorder but grow and better myself to be the person I’ve always dreamt of being. Recovery has reminded me of the importance of everything from family and friends to really good ice cream. Recovery has given me the chance to live out my dreams. I am so thankful for Project HEAL and that they do, not only for me but for so many others. Liana and Kristina, you are true recovery warriors and such a great testament that full recovery is possible. Thank you both for being my recovery heroes and for never giving up on me.
— Michelle
Project HEAL changed my life. Being able to go to treatment has radically changed who I am as a person, how I interact with others, and, most importantly, how I interact with myself. Without Project HEAL, I firmly believe that I would not be pursuing my goals, and that the life that I was living before would have been all that I ever lived–I could not get myself out of the hole I had found myself in alone. I needed help. Project HEAL saved my life. Without it, I am afraid of who I would be today. Now, I am a licensed social worker doing what I love, and a newlywed—both things that I before thought were impossible for me. There is never enough that I can do to thank Project HEAL and it’s amazing founders, Liana and Kristina. For now, all I can do is share their message, live a life that I deserve, and allow this beautiful organization to have changed my life–it is something that I am grateful for every single day.
— Kelsey
Kelsey.png
I was in a period in my life where I had abandoned all hope for my future. My self-worth was lost and I did not know who I was without E.D. I knew I needed treatment right away, but I had no way to afford it. Luckily, I was able to learn about Project HEAL’s remarkable mission to provide treatment for people suffering from eating disorders. I read Liana’s and Kristina’s stories online and it sparked a glimmer of hope in myself. I knew if they could recover and find happiness then I could too. Liana and Kristina spoke to me on the phone and I knew I was meeting with people who would change my life. Thanks to Project HEAL for restoring my hope and making me realize that I can begin living my life NOW.
— Merlyn
I feel so appreciative and blessed to have been chosen for the opportunity to receive the treatment that I so desperately need to save my life. Project HEAL is such an amazing organization that has helped so many people and it is a true inspiration that proves recovery is possible, and once you are able to help yourself, you can also help so many others dealing with the same struggles.
— Olivia
Paloma.png
No words could be enough to express how thankful I am for the opportunity Project HEAL gave to me to get my life back. I can finally say I’m living, not just surviving. I can enjoy the happy moments in life – not constantly worrying about how I look, and how much weight I need to lose. I will forever be thankful to both Kristina and Liana for helping me on the journey to recovery.
— Paloma
I am so grateful to everyone at Project HEAL for giving me the opportunity to fight for my life back. My eating disorder took everything away from me, I never would have been able to even imagine a life without my eating disorder but now I’m getting closer and closer to being the happy Rose that I was intended to be. I can’t believe the huge hearts and large amount of dedication and love I felt from Project HEAL. They truly gave me hope and encouragement in moments when I was at my lowest. Full recovery will take a lot more work to achieve but now it’s a graspable concept that I never thought was possible.
— Rose
Samantha.png
Project HEAL allowed me to go with my parents to a full week of intensive family treatment. The therapists there gave me information and the tools I needed to help fight off the monster in my head. They gave me the power to lift myself up again. It was hard returning to school, with all the new rules and regulations. But I had a new spirit of hope and a more vivacious personality. I got my energy back! Eating lunch was no longer a chore, but a time talk with my friends about boys and have fun. I no longer felt isolated from the world. I now feel welcome and safe. Thank you, Project HEAL, for giving me my life back.
— Samantha
I am forever grateful for the family and support I have discovered in Project HEAL. They have literally given me a second chance to learn life skills. Through therapy, learning healthy coping skills, setting boundaries, having support through grief and acceptance, I am gradually building a solid foundation.
— Crystal
Crystal.png
There are not adequate words for me to express my gratitude to Project HEAL for giving me a chance and caring to reach out a hand of rescue- to ME.  In return, I will continue to care for and nurture the gift given to me by walking out and living a life of recovery, no matter what and even when it is difficult.  I also want to be a mouthpiece of hope and a hand of rescue for others in need. In that way, the gift given to me will reach beyond just this one life, and Lord willing, to many more. From the bottom of my now hopeful heart, Project HEAL, THANK YOU.
— Kristin
Project HEAL changed my life when finances were hindering me from getting the level of care I needed. Project HEAL has allowed me to more fully trust that I am capable of feeding my body in ways that are satisfying to my soul, and continue building the self esteem that makes life more manageable. I am forever grateful for Liana and Kristina for their unreserved compassion and work for this community.
— Caroline
Caroline.png
I had booked a 3 week trip to Israel for the beginning of 2016. I was terrified to leave my support system for any longer than that. Because of Project HEAL, I was able to take my therapist and dietician with me by way of Skype. I extended my trip. I learned more about myself than ever before. Because of the Project HEAL treatment grant, I challenged myself in all those areas and thrived. Because of the grant, I met a wonderful man who I am now engaged to. We met the week after I initially planned to return to the US. We will be living in Israel permanently after the wedding. Eating disorder recovery is not a short process and unfortunately not an affordable one either. Had I stopped receiving treatment in Jan 2016 when I lost my job, I know that I would not have a life I have today. Project HEAL picked up where I little choice than to put down. I am and will be eternally grateful for the support that I have been given.
— Nina
Project HEAL saved my life. After struggling with my eating disorder mostly on my own for 10 years, I got to the point where my life and my eating disorder could not coexist. I began to explore my treatment options and quickly found out that they were scarce. I started out in an outpatient program for adults with anxiety and depression. Although anxiety and depression were very intertwined in my eating disorder, I left group everyday with my disordered eating behaviors unscathed and toxic thoughts about my body and food polluting my mind. After about a week I dropped out feeling even worse than I did when I began. I applied for a treatment grant, thinking that this would be my last shot at treatment. Receiving the grant sparked hope back into my soul and brought with it an emotional cocktail of excitement, anxiety and fear. How was I going to leave something behind that I felt was so ingrained in who I was? How was I going to let go of that control that I felt was keeping me safe for so long? Project HEAL gave me a chance to search and find answers to those questions. An opportunity to pursue a life that was not dominated by shame and fear, to see beyond the pain that I unsuccessfully tried to starve away, and a belief that full recovery is possible. All of that and Project HEAL’s support didn’t stop at the treatment grant. Since beginning my recovery journey Project HEAL has stood by me, supported me, and encouraged me in my recovery. I am forever grateful for Project HEAL and all the ways they have supported, encouraged, and empowered me to live authentically and pursue radical self-love.
— Hannah
Hannah.png
CKelly.png
Because of Project HEAL, I was given a new life. I hope that my experiences can show others that recovery is possible. My dream is to be a nurse and a care technician. I’m going to make a difference for others just like Project HEAL made a difference for me.
— Caroline
I recognize that my recovery is my foundation for living my life’s purpose and being of service.  This strong foundation grows as I walk a kind, gentle, joyful, and courageous path.  I look forward to supporting others on the path of recovery from an eating disorder through advocacy work.  Meanwhile, I am continuing to build my life’s work of facilitating transformative nature based education and healing programs.  Project HEAL has given me the gift of transforming my relationship with myself, my body, and my life, as has support me in building a life worth living!
— Daniella
Daniella.png
Sherrine.png
I am the mother of six wonderful children. They are my entire life and I know that it is miracle after miracle that I was blessed to have these children. I have struggled with an eating disorder for 30 years and have tried so many avenues to find peace and healing. When I found Project HEAL, my oldest (who has severe disabilities) was a young adult and my youngest had just been born. I was overwhelmed, to say the least, and knew that I could not go to inpatient therapy with a newborn and an 18 year old that both completely relied upon me to sustain their lives. I had just begun an outpatient therapy at a clinic that, for the first time, was making a difference in my life. But I could not afford to continue the therapy there. That is when I was introduced to Project HEAL. They gave me the opportunity to continue intensive outpatient therapy instead of inpatient, which allowed me the ability to continue to heal AND to be a much needed mom. I love Project HEAL. For the first time in 30 years, I was told that I can overcome this debilitating struggle that I have worked so hard to beat, but have not been able to on my own. It is so hard to leave my family and to care for myself and because of the grant that I have been allowed to have, I am able to make that step. It is challenging to change, but my eyes have been opened by kind and very understanding people. I have been able to see many pieces of me that have not been broken, but hindering my own life. I thank Project HEAL for giving me hope by listening to what I truly needed to recover. You are wonderful for providing hope to so many others just like me. Thank you, Project HEAL.
— Sherrine
Thanks to Project HEAL and all of the love and support from family and friends, Anorexia is becoming less and less of my identity. Back in treatment, I never thought I would run again. I was told I would never run again. Despite all the odds, I was wrong. I also believed my dreams would never happen. I believed with my heart of hearts that because of Anorexia, I was incapable of achieving my dreams. I believed I would work part time in retail forever, and never become the woman I thought I could be. Until last week. Last week marked another turning point. I received a letter from the University of Bradford in the UK, accepting my application to obtain a Masters in Conflict Resolution this coming September. Since I studied abroad in Ireland in 2011, I have dreamed of getting my Masters at a European Institution. This Masters, will equip me with the tools necessary to be an advocate for peace in Northern Ireland, and around the world. That dream would never have been possible, without Project HEAL. My dreams are still possible, and are within reach. Anorexia didn’t claim my life, my health, or my dreams. Anorexia is only going to be a chapter in my life, not the entire book.
— Hanna
Hanna.png
Bonita.png
In between the winter and spring of 2016, I submitted an application. I thought I was just going to be another name on an application... one that would be overlooked. The basic stats: female, late 20’s, African-American, dying, please help me. They only had my words that were typed with trembling hands, and a phone call or two to base their decision on...and they, Project HEAL, gave me a chance to save my life. Being selected for the Project HEAL treatment grant has been like seeing colors after only seeing in gray, hearing the rush of fresh rain, smelling the sweetest folds of the earth, tasting myself smile, and touching all the atoms that make me who I am; and confirming that I am a soul that is worth saving. Project HEAL says I am worth saving. They have made one of the biggest differences in my life. Because of their belief in this “name on an application” (MY name. ME.) and my story, because of their strong belief in recovery, they gave me the gift of starting my own recovery journey. One that I thought was never going to happen; that I thought was impossible. The exquisite and fierce founders of Project HEAL, Kristina and Liana, turn impossible into I’M POSSIBLE. Just as the darkness of despair was about to completely engulf me, Project HEAL aided in chiseling me from the suffocating and concrete grip of my eating disorder. They did this by placing me in the perfect treatment facilities for residential and outpatient care.

I feel very strongly that if my path had not aligned with Project HEAL, I would not be typing this testimony today...in this month of February 2017, as a proud Black woman during Black History Month. I am alive! Without Project HEAL, I would not be able to say confidently that: Yes, recovery is possible. I have a ways to go, and every day I am fighting. And when I begin to question myself, I know that Kristina and Liana believe in me. Project HEAL, I thank you for constantly opening up recovery doors for me, never shutting out faith and hope, your consistency, your transparency, helping to destroy stigmas, and challenging this disabled health insurance system. This corrupt health insurance system that told me they did not care to cover any type of eating disorder treatments for me.  

Project HEAL, you are a positive and motivating force. Thank you for believing in me. I am forever humbly grateful.
— Bonita
In April 2016, I was facing a total lack of funds to continue at the outpatient level and insurance was denying coverage. After just having discharged unexpectedly from treatment at the end of February, the thought of not having a team was very frightening. I found Project HEAL in a desperate search for some sort of help and decided to apply even though I thought the chances of being selected were slim. I got a call from Liana in May informing me that I had been selected for a year of outpatient. I was truly shocked that someone actually believed in me that much. Because of Project HEAL, I was able to see a team of specialists and continue down this journey. Words cannot describe how thankful I am for Project HEAL and I thank God for allowing me to find them and then be chosen. The path has definitely been a challenge, but I’ve heard it said “the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory.” I would not be where I was today without Liana, Kristina and Project HEAL’s support. Thank you for seeing me and believing in me!
— Julia
Julia.png
Kiernan.png
I was on state-funded insurance when I contacted Project HEAL.I had wanted and needed treatment for years but did not have access to any level of care. The day I heard that I was a treatment grant recipient, I thought was the best day of my life. It was certainly the most relieved I’ve been in a while. But I wrong. Having access to residential treatment and partial hospitalization because of Project HEAL was just the beginning to the best days in my life. Liana, Kristina and Arwen did not stop there. They made sure I was able to stay in treatment, even with outside financial obligations. They followed up with my team and with me the whole time I was in treatment and after I returned home. Project HEAL cared beyond just awarding a treatment grant. They care about me as a whole person and believe in me when I have a hard time believing in myself. Project HEAL has absolutely provided the framework for me to change my life, and in doing so, they have changed my life. I am forever grateful.
— Kiernan
On my 24th birthday, I received the best present a girl struggling with anorexia could ask for. Kristina called me to let me know that Project HEAL would be funding my treatment. I was in complete shock. I could not believe that they believed in me, that they believed in my recovery. I cried the happiest tears. Kristina and Liana have been there as mentors, as role models, and as friends. They have shown me that I do have a life worth saving, that I am worthy, and that I am enough. They have shown me that life is beautiful, and recovery is possible. Project HEAL has lifted me up when I felt defeated. They have given me the strength to keep fighting. I struggled with anorexia for 15 years and thought that I would never recover. But Project HEAL gave me something that I didn’t have before. They gave me hope and confidence that I could be like them one day, that I could recover and make a difference in the world. Since receiving the treatment grant, I have been working tirelessly to recover so that one day I can help those struggling with eating disorders and depression. So thank you for believing in me. Thank you for fighting for me. Thank you for teaching me that I am worthy of recovery. And thank you to all the donors who have made my recovery possible.
— Elizabeth
Elizabeth.png
When I got a surprise phone call from Kristina that I had been chosen for the grant, I could not contain my excitement and spent the rest of the evening screaming, laughing hysterically, and dancing around. Loads of stress rolled off my shoulders as I realized I would be able to continue much-needed treatment. Not only that, but becoming a part of the ‘family’ has been a huge inspiration and encouragement to me. Hearing from Liana and Kristina that they believe in me has helped me to ‘do the next right thing’ even when I feel like giving up. I am incredibly blessed by the privilege of having Project HEAL in my life as I move forward on this journey of recovery. Thank y’all so much!!!
— Valerie
As a parent, you do everything you can for your child.  When our daughter received a diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa at the age of 15, we did what any parent would do; we sought treatment per the direction of our pediatrician.  However, that treatment did not provide adequate means for recovery for our child or our family and six months later we were in a dire situation with further weight loss and bordering on extreme medical complication because of the eating disorder.

Our family had looked into treatment at the University of California San Diego’s (UCSD) Eating Disorder Treatment program.  But, we learned from our insurance provider that the treatment would not be covered.  In continuing to pursue treatment options for our daughter;  I discovered a mother’s blog on Project HEAL’s Facebook page in November 2016.  The blog detailed her daughter’s journey and progress with treatment received at the University of California San Diego’s Intensive Family Treatment program (IFT). This family was also a Project HEAL treatment grant recipient.  I connected with the mother who told me to fill out the application.  As I filled out the application, I thought there is no way we will be approved.  We had insurance.  However, a few weeks later, I received the best news I could ever imagine.  We had been awarded a treatment grant!  Tears of joy streamed down my face as I read the words in the email with the treatment grant news.  I looked forward to our family learning how to tackle the eating disorder together and recovery for my daughter.  Just a few months later, in January 2017, we attended treatment at UCSD’s IFT program.  It was a difficult week for all, but, it educated us as parents and provided the tools we all needed to see Brooke recover.

We are now one year post treatment and it’s amazing what one year can do.  Today, Brooke is enjoying her senior year of high school, applying (and being accepted to colleges), and has returned to her passion - dance.  

All of this would not be possible without the treatment grant and support from Project HEAL.  I have said to Liana and Kristina many many times - thank you hardly seems to be enough for what Project HEAL has done for our family.  But, from the bottom of our hearts, we are forever grateful for all that you do.  Not only for our family but for all that you impact with this organization.   
— Aimeé
Lauren.png
Being chosen as a grant recipient by Project HEAL has truly been one of the most incredible gifts!  Saying “thank you” could never do my gratitude justice and I will forever grateful for Project HEAL.  While the the grant itself was a blessing in order to keep me in the treatment I so desperately needed, being a recipient is more than just receiving something monetary.  The support, encouragement, strength and faith that come from the entire Project HEAL team is something I have always dreamed of and they have truly made my dreams a reality.  Growing up I was a child actor - performing live in musicals & plays and also on screen in movies and on TV.  While my eating disorder started as a young child, as I got older and my eating disorder progressed, I became so self-conscious, lost my self-esteem and the fear of people looking at me became so intensely overwhelming.  I could no longer be in the moment or portray a character because of the horrific thoughts that ran through my mind every moment and I was forced to abandon my love for the arts.  It has been over 15 years since I’ve been on a stage or in front of a camera and, while I no longer dream of being a performer, I have always been saddened by the reality that this disease stole something from me that I was so passionate about.  Being part of a cast was always like being part of an incredible family and being a part of Project HEAL has given me that same feeling.  The love and confidence that the Project HEAL family gives to me is like standing on stage receiving a standing ovation (even if the performance wasn’t perfect).  One huge lesson I learned during treatment and am continually reminded on a daily basis is that I don’t have to be perfect and, just because I’m not perfect, doesn’t mean I’m failing.  Having so many people standing beside me, believing in me, has made it nearly impossible for me not to start believing in myself - believing that full recovery is possible!  I may not be there yet, but thanks to Project HEAL I know I will get there.
— Lauren