But to me, it is even more inspirational when someone overcomes their own battle with an eating disorder and goes on to raise money to help other people and raise awareness. So, how can you top overcoming personal adversity to get stuck in with fundraising I hear you ask? Well,
How about smashing a rowing first too?
Eight women from Oxford University’s Corpus Christi College Boat Club are preparing to do just that.
In June they’ll be rowing an arm-aching 180km from Oxford to London to raise money for Eating Disorders Charity, BEAT. They are the first female crew to give it a go. However, not all of these super-women were always as strong.
At 13 years old Esther Rich (pictured centre front) was battling anorexia nervosa, a year later she was in the grips of the illness and at 15 years old was admitted as an inpatient at an eating disorder unit in Stoke on Trent.
She explains; “My illness was triggered mainly by friendship breakdowns, which left me wanting to be invisible, it really set in at 14.” After nine tough months fighting Esther was discharged from the service.
Now, aged 19 and fully recovered, she is a second year psychology student at Oxford University and plans on becoming a Clinical Psychologist. She told me she’s passionate about giving back; “I want to help those in the same situation I was in. I have also just secured a supervisor to allow me to write my final year dissertation on the causes and treatment of eating disorders.”
She added; “I now volunteer as a Young Ambassador for Beat, which involves raising awareness, speaking at conferences, talking to current inpatients about recovery and fundraising for the charity to continue their amazing work.”
|Esther, happier and healthier.|
As they hit the water to build strength for their challenge, they’ve coined to motto:
‘We will push our bodies to the limits to stop eating disorder sufferers from doing the same.’
They hope to show others that you can overcome the grips of an eating disorder and go on to be healthy, strong and to help others. Tell me, how can you get more inspirational than that?
The ladies will be hitting the water between 23rd - 26th June 2013 and you can sponsor Esther and the crew via their Just Giving page here: www.justgiving.com/londonrow
If you want to know more about eating disorders or are worried about a loved one, get in touch with BEAT or Team Recovery for support.