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LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
- July 02, 2012
- Vol. 78
- No. 1
Helping Girls Fight Eating Disorders
One look at Kristina Saffran and Liana Rosenman-all white teeth, glowing skin and glossy hair-and you'd never know it. But in 2006, when Kristina, then 14, met Liana, then 15, in an inpatient eating disorder program, they were sick girls. Diagnosed with anorexia at 10, Kristina had been hospitalized twice after living on 600 calories a day. Liana was losing hair, and in 2007 was put on suicide watch after her parents took the measuring cup she used to parse food. "I needed," she says, "to get control of my life." They began to lean on each other. "I would call in tears," Kristina says. "She would say, 'You've come so far.'"
Back to health by 2008 and now in college, they founded the nonprofit Project Heal (theprojectheal.org). Raising $180,000 through donations and grants, they've helped seven women and girls get top-flight eating disorder treatment they couldn't afford and that insurance often doesn't cover. One grateful recipient: Danielle Engen, 25, who was treated for anorexia and bulimia at La Ventana in Thousand Oaks, Calif. "I was so sick," she says. "They saved me."
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