The 'Friends of Erin' Committee

Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

By Becky D. (Grade 12)

Erin is a 14-year-old Winkler girl who is in a critical health condition due to Anorexia Nervosa, an eating disorder that causes the patient to starve themselves to death. This disorder most often affects teenage girls and young adult women who have an intense fear of being fat. However, Erin's case is so severe that traditional treatment methods have been inadequate.

A program in Winnipeg has had success in assisting the recovery of even the most serious cases of this disorder. It is done through intensive 24 hour treatment which continues for months. This treatment must be extensive because food and weight dominate the thoughts of the patient, who "sees" herself as fatter than she really is.

Erin needs this program, but it is not covered by the Manitoba health care system and will cost as much as $50,000. The "Friends of Erin" committee is a group of concerned friends who wanted to make a concerted effort to raise funds to give Erin the care she needs.

Some events that have taken place to support this effort are: an all-school assembly at Garden Valley Collegiate; "Saturday Live at the Mall," where musicians performed in the Southland Mall, and donations were received for Erin; a fundraising breakfast put on by the Garden Valley teachers; a basketball game hosted by the teachers where they played against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers; an all-night Bowlathon; and a Coffee House held on International Women's Day.

As a result of these fundraisers, the goal of $50,000 has been reached. "'The Friends of Erin' committee is very pleased with the support of the community," says spokesperson Elaine Dyck.

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