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Iskra Lawrence, NEDA Ambassador
“To me, being a warrior means using your experiences and the strength you've fought with to empower yourself and to help or inspire others. NEDA Walks enable us all to connect and share what we've been through, and to feel proud to be warriors! Walking together in unity reminds us that we are not alone and that when we unite, we can achieve anything.”
“Last year I came to the NEDA Walk for the first time, and as I listened to the stories of the people up on stage, I was struck by how similar their stories were to my own. I remember thinking that if their stories were valid and their eating disorders were real, then maybe my eating disorder was real, too. Because of the walk last year, I started to take my eating disorder more seriously. It really was a catalyst for me, and just a few months later I finally went to treatment.”
“Participating in the NEDA Walks over the past few years has been one of my favorite days of the year. It’s a celebration that reminds you you’re not alone in your recovery, and there aren’t words to describe the safe and secure feeling that comes in being surrounded by people who know what you’ve gone through. It’s so easy to get caught up in the mindset of working towards your next goal in recovery, but NEDA Walks are a reminder to take a step back and celebrate how far we’ve all come, both individually and as a society. Seeing the walks grow year to year is a physical representation of growing footprint of NEDA’s work, and nothing puts a bigger smile on my face.”
“I attended my first NEDA Walk afraid of admitting to myself or anyone else that I needed help, but I was amazed at the community of hope and support I witnessed — it's what has kept me coming back every year. Each NEDA walk leaves me inspired to keep pushing forward and fighting for what I believe in. Somewhere along the way, with the help of the recovery community, I've found my voice and I'm no longer afraid to admit when I need help.”
“This was the first year I'd ever gone to a NEDA walk and I met up with some of my recovery friends there. It was amazing to see such a diverse group of people get together to walk for something that has inflicted my life for so long. As someone who is fat, I was worried about the walk being too much for my body, but my friends stuck by me the whole time and made the walk so fun that I wasn't even focusing on my body. I can't wait to go to another walk this year and to meet new people and make new friends. This community is amazing and means the world to me.”
Louise & Sam Y.
“Participating in NEDA Walks gives me strength, motivation, and encouragement. Each year I'm reminded that I’m not alone in this battle against myself, and that there is a strong community of beautiful souls fighting right alongside me.”
“Being married to someone who struggles with an eating disorder is like always having a third person around who is always speaking lies into my wife's ears. Sometimes it’s a shout and sometimes it’s a whisper, but I am here to interrupt that voice to reassure Louise that she is good enough just the way she is. Going on this walk together shows that we recognize the destructive nature of eating disorders and pledge our time and energy to fight it.”
“When I attended my first NEDA Walk in 2016 I was still hesitant to share my struggles publicly because of the added on stigma of eating disorders. That fear quickly disappeared after connecting with the strong and inspiring recovery community. Being surrounded by people who share the same passions as you do is an incredible feeling. After that day I realized my voice needed to be heard and I will never stop using it. Each NEDA Walk has continued to prove to me that, although recovery is hard and there will be bumps in the road, it is worth the fight. ”
NEDA is closely monitoring the rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak. The health of our community, especially those who are most vulnerable to the virus' serious complications, remains paramount. Upcoming NEDA Walks around the country may be rescheduled or go virtual. If you are registered for a NEDA Walk taking place in the Spring season, please check your email for updates.