Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Eating Disorder Professionals Said She Would Die…

By Nancy Alcorn

In December 2003, Mary Ellen walked through the doors of Mercy Ministries full of fear and fighting for her very life. Only 14 years old and battling with a life-threatening eating disorder. Her parents’ eyes were filled with tears as they told us how the doctors who were eating disorder professionals told Mary Ellen that if they did not do something, she would die. NOW, almost seven years later, Mary Ellen has returned to Mercy Ministries once again…but this time, she is here as a junior in college doing an internship with our Nutritionist who works closely with our girls who came to Mercy struggling with an eating disorder.

Mary Ellen stood in front of all of our staff and residents in our Nashville home this week and told her story of victory and complete freedom! It was such a powerful time and so encouraging to our girls who are sitting in the same seats that Mary Ellen once sat in. I had a very busy day on Monday, but I made it a priority to be there to introduce Mary Ellen to our girls and be there to hear her story firsthand. Even though Mary Ellen and I have kept in touch and her story is very familiar to me, I still wanted to honor her and be a part of this special time.

I also wanted to be there firsthand so I could share with you about the impact Mary Ellen had on our current residents. It was so cool to watch it all unfold, and I have included pictures (see below) to see what it was like as the girls gathered around afterwards to ask questions. It is so exciting to me to see how she’s come full circle and is about to graduate from college and use her training to help other young women get through the same struggles that she has now overcome.

I thought it would be cool to take you back in time and show you our Mercy magazine that we did in 2004 when Mary Ellen had just graduated from the program and had gone back home to finish high school. This gives more of the details of what it was like as a family, straight from the heart of her dad, as well as her own personal account at that time. Click here to read the magazine article about Mary Ellen.

Please share this with others so they too can be encouraged, and thanks to all of our supporters for making this possible.