Words by Elizabeth Gillott and Al Blanton | Images by Al Blanton
District 3 Walker County Commissioner Jim Borden teamed up with a local mother to bring awareness for National Eating Disorders Week (NEDA). In recognition, the Walker County Courthouse was illuminated in blue and green from February 27 to March 5, 2023.
Tessa Rowe, a public citizen and nurse whose daughter was affected by an eating disorder, asked Commissioner Borden to initiate the effort. In a written letter, Rowe shared a that her daughter almost lost her life in 2020 due to an eating disorder.
Because local resources were limited, Rowe had to do outside research to determine the best route of care for her daughter.
“After years of research, I was introduced to the founder of the ACUTE Center for eating disorders in Denver, Colorado,” Rowe said.
Rowe and her family realized the severity of the disorder and recognize how important it is to speak out and aid others who are going through this same situation. She believes it is critical to provide support through the community and individuals who are suffering through the effects of eating disorders.
“Eating disorders have the second highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness and they impact more than 30 million Americans,” Rowe wrote. “My family is just one of the many in Walker County that has been impacted by this horrible disorder.”
The courthouse lighting, Rowe says, acts as a beacon of hope to the community and shows those impacted by eating disorders that they are not alone. WL
For more information, visit https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/ and follow the hashtag #NEDAwareness.