Sunday, October 2nd was the first time I participated in a fundraising walk and this one held special meaning for me. It was the National Eating Disorders Association’s 3rd annual NYC Walk to raise awareness of eating disorders.
The day started early, at Foley Square in downtown Manhattan, with Diana Williams of WABC News hosting the event and special guest, NEDA Ambassador, Emme, greeting the crowd. Between the live music, expo and other events, the most special thing for me was listening to the speakers. People from many different generations stood up in front of the huge crowd and shared their stories of recovery, hope and healthy living. Each story was unique and each was inspirational.
One of the best parts of the day, personally, was listening to The Falk Sisters perform their song, “Deadly Beauty”. The lyrics really spoke to me and reminded me of my past, of trying so hard to be perfect until it nearly did me in. Most of you can probably relate. More important was the song’s message, that we’re all already beautiful. Sometimes we can’t see it, but we are and you should all remember that each and every day.
After all these uplifting and inspiring messages, the actual walk itself across the Brooklyn Bridge began. The sun was shining on the hundreds of people walking to raise awareness of eating disorders. Many people walked to support a friend or family member battling ED, others in recognition of their own recovery and continued determination to speak out. Still others walked in honor of someone lost to ED. Everyone’s shirt said something different but it was all the same message: Let’s Talk About. You’re beautiful. The Someday Melissa team, with her mother Judy in the lead, walked in Melissa’s honor wearing Someday Melissa t-shirts.
Then to top off an already amazing day was the huge amount of interest in the Someday Melissa documentary. Scores of people came up to our table to tell us they’d heard about Melissa’s story and couldn’t wait to see the film. They asked about screenings and release dates. There was a lot of interest from other organizations who were there. They were excited to hear the DVD was finally available and they couldn’t wait to go home and order it. Melissa’s story is spreading fast, far and wide, which I love because it means that finally people are ready to take notice and take a stand against ED.
So when you’re having a rough day, just think about the walk (whether you were there or not) and remember how many people are thinking about you, yes YOU, and showing their support.