Not long ago she appeared physically to be healthy, however you could see the sorrow in her eyes. Mental disorders are challenging for all who suffer from one. But she kept smiling and moving forward, because she knew she had to do it in order to make it to the next day.
Unfortunately, Rachael has suffered from a rare form of Anorexia Nervosa for over a decade. Although the disease seems to manifest itself as a physical ailment to our own untrained eyes, Anorexia Nervosa is in fact clinically classified as a mental disease.
It makes no more sense to ask someone with multiple personality disorder to "just pick one" than it does to tell someone suffering from Anorexia to "just eat." The seeds of Anorexia run deep and its roots are complex in its reach. It's a psychiatric disorder with biological implications. The ingestion of too many calories at once could result in a deadly heart attack.
Currently, there is no mandate in Obamacare that includes in-patient treatment for eating disorders. Desperate for help, Rachael's last hope was with you, and with me...and the person sitting next to you. She desperately needed financial assistance, and quite literally begged for her life.
Rachael was very fortunate to have the support of friends, family, and her new extended social media tribe as she battled for her life. Most of all though, she had the BEST husband in the world who has supported her from day one.
After treatment in Portugal, Rachael made an amazing transformation, gaining back much of the weight she had lost. She will likely continue to suffer the biological effects of Anorexia, such as osteoporosis and diminished cardiac capacity. Plus, long term care will be required in order to support her continued mental health needs.
But, as she told NBC Los Angeles:
"I have a huge family – it's called the world. They embraced me with one big hug!"
Rachael is finally in her happy place. With her brand new world-wide family!
In the following viral YouTube video Rachael literally begs for her life. This video, which was viewed by over 4 million people, was the catalyst that funded her life-saving treatment.
You Are Stronger Than You Think
Rachael has taken her newfound strength and put it to good use as an activist, marching in Washington DC to bring awareness to eating disorders and the lack of insurance coverage for this illness. One thing she has taught us is that no matter how weak you may believe you are physically or mentally, your spirit is much stronger than you think.