File under “heartbreaking” and “you can help”

Sofia Benbahmed has an eating disorder. She’s had it for over a decade and in the last few years, it has gotten worse. It got so bad that she needed full-time live-in treatment, where she would be monitored during and after meals, go to individual and group therapy, and be cared for by doctors, dietitians and a nursing staff. She sought treatment at such a facility last year and made some progress. In her own words:

During my time there I began to feel myself changing and rising to the occasion in a way I never had before. It was as though all of these years I have been in a room with no doors or windows, and suddenly doors began to appear – and not only did they become visible, but I began to walk through them. It is the only way that I have been able to describe it.

Three weeks after she had arrived at this facility, Sofia’s insurance policy changed hands, and her new insurance company stopped covering her treatment. Now, Sofia’s life is genuinely in danger. She needs treatment, and she can’t afford it. Currently, her treatment costs more than $30,000 a month, and that’s with the treatment center knocking off almost $10, 000 because of her financial situation.

I found out about Sofia’s case through The Fat Nutritionist, who brings a more macro view of the situation:

Eating disorders prey on some of the most marginalized members of society: girls, women, gay men, as well as people who suffer from depression, OCD, or illnesses that make eating a pain in the ass to begin with. They prey on people of all skin colours and ethnicities. They prey on people who’ve been tormented into believing that fat is a fate worse than death. And they kill people who don’t have the money to get better.

Sofia doesn’t have the money to get better. But she is trying to raise it. If you can spare the money this week – her fundraiser ends on the 15thplease consider donating. You can donate to her, or you can give directly to her treatment facility. You can find out more about Sofia’s fundraising effort, and even get in touch with Sofia herself and ask her how you can help, here.

Thanks to the wonderful Kate Harding for the tip.

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One Comment

  1. Posted November 10, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    As someone who has struggled with anorexia in the past, I know this is very tragic and scary. I hope for the best for Sofia.

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