Walk brings awareness to eating disorders, breaks down stigma

The Madison-area community walked in support of those who are struggling with eating disorders Sunday through the National Eating Disorders Association walk.

People who participated in the walk at 11 a.m. worked to break down the stigma of eating disorders by promoting messages of hope, strength and recovery.

“I think eating disorders can make people feel really alone,” said Emily Vachon, an organizer of the event.

The mission of the walk was to create a sense of community and show people that recovery from an eating disorder is possible, according to organizer Maddie Kinscher.

Kinscher said eating disorders are something that anybody could struggle with.

“Eating disorders don’t have a body type, a race, they don’t have a gender,” Kinscher said.

“They can sometimes be silent disorders, they don’t look one way,” said Megan Murphy, also a coordinator of Sunday’s walk. “But people are really there to support you, especially NEDA, especially the people in this community are here to support people, lift each other up, and we’re all one big team.”

The walk was about one mile in length along the outskirts of Rennebohm Park, which had signs of hope and motivation along its trail.

Everyone was invited to walk, including dogs, some of whom sported dog bandanas that were available for purchase.

The walk raised funds to give back to NEDA through donations, raffles and merchandise, all with the goal of reaching $25,000.

Those needing help can reach out to the eating disorders hotline at 800-931-2237 or visit NEDA’s website.

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