To say the Twin Cities NEDA Walk at the Mall of America was overwhelmingly powerful, would be an understatement.
Last night, Josh and I went out to dinner with my dear friends RJ, Linda, and Caroline. During dinner, RJ asked what I was hoping to get out of the NEDA walk. I told him that I wasn’t doing this walk for me, I was doing it to:
- Prove that recovery is possible
- Support the countless individuals, families, and friends that have been affected by the horrors of eating disorders
- Display my gratitude to the many people that work so hard everyday to beat eating disorders, and provide life-saving help to those that need it most
Josh and I arrived at the East entrance to the Mall, and were instantly overcame by the multitude of people already there – at 7:30 am! We registered, I turned in the last of my donations ($413.20 – that’s incredible. Thanks again to my amazing donors!) and we met up with Anna, Dylan, RJ, Linda, and Caroline. We walked across the rotunda, picked up our shirts, grabbed coffee, and then walked around the multiple booths that were set up. There was information from the Emily Program, Melrose, and many others.
In the midst of the over 1,000 people in attendance, we lost Anna and Dylan. In an attempt to reconvene, I reached into my purse to pull out my phone and text her. As I was trying to figure out our exact location so I could tell her where we were, a familiar face caught my eye – it was my dad! He had driven 2.5 hours to come and support me in the walk!
The opening ceremony consisted of several talented artists, followed by the introduction of several integral figures from NEDA. We were then introduced to three profound speakers: Adam Pope, Matt Diaz, and Iskra Lawrence.
We then set out on our walk around the Mall. It was very empowering to see all the support, love, and energy among the sea of light blue t-shirts.
Afterwards, we reconnected with our group and got some pictures. Recovery is possible!