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On Tuesday October 1st, the Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC) successfully hosted their first annual fundraiser, featuring several very influential advocates to the eating disorder community. This exclusive event was aimed to advance the recognition of eating disorders as a public health priority. During the evening, powerful speakers shared stories of eating disorders and recovery, auction items were bid upon, and passionate advocates were celebrated and honored.

In between mingling and tasting exquisite food (prepared by Top Chef finalist Stefan Richter), guests listened to advocates speak out about eating disorders, recovery, and insurance barriers. EDC host committee member Jaye Azoff, Psy.D. explained the significance of being able to stay in treatment (despite her insurance company cutting coverage early), and the impact this had on her recovery. California Commissioner Dave Jones inspired the group with his commitment to enforcing mental health parity, and his collaboration with the eating disorder community in advocating for access to treatment.

EDC President Johanna Kandel shared her personal story of recovery. Johanna is known for her tireless advocacy with the EDC and the Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders (FREED Act). In addition to her work with the EDC, Johanna is the founder and CEO of The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness and author of Life Beyond Your Eating Disorder.

Kirsten Haglund, Community Relations Specialist for Timberline Knolls as well as Miss America 2008, attended the event on behalf of Timberline Knolls – showing her commitment to raising awareness and increasing resources for those with eating disorders.

Advocate and veteran actress Ali MacGraw spoke so eloquently on her struggles with addiction and the power of being able to step into a community of people like yourself – what she referred to as your “tribe.” She explained that within your tribe you feel at home, understood, and supported. There is unspoken acceptance and understanding that allows you the feel safe saying “this is what I am feeling right now,” and to take comfort in the fact that these people truly understand. Your tribe will wrap you in encouragement, strategies for coping, and words of healing.

Ali’s story was very easy for those of us in the eating disorder community to relate to. We can certainly understand how the exceptional power of a treatment team, the strength of a mentor, and the love of family and friends can string together a path towards recovery.

Funds raised through the event will be used by the Eating Disorders Coalition to advocate for improved access to treatment, research, and the education and prevention of Eating Disorders. To learn more about the Eating Disorders Coalition and to find out what you can to do help, see

If you have questions about eating disorder treatment and insurance issues, please do not hesitate to contact Kantor & Kantor, LLP for help. We offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis – meaning that we do not collect a fee unless we get your claim paid.

We understand, and we can help.