The power of media lies in the ability to engage people in a story and influence what they know and think about a particular issue. When Judy Avrin lost her teen daughter, Melissa, to an eating disorder last year, she chose to use the power of media to tell her daughter's story to the world.
Her documentary, Someday Melissa, recently received attention from the New York Times and The Today Show, and Judy is discovering that the work she is doing to honor her daughter is already changing lives. We asked Judy to write to us about her view on the power of media:Someday...
I’ll eat breakfast.
I’ll keep a job for more than 3 weeks.
I’ll have a boyfriend for more than 10 days.
I’ll love someone.
I’ll travel wherever I want.
I’ll make my family proud.
I’ll make a movie that changes lives.
When I found this writing in my daughter's journal after she died in 2009, I made the decision to go public that she died from an eating disorder. I began work on a documentary called Someday Melissa. The recent media attention has resulted in an overwhelming response: hundreds of messages from around the world, thanking me for having the courage to speak out and bring eating disorders out of the shadows. I’ve received messages that calls to helplines have increased, and that children have gone to their parents saying they didn’t really believe they could die and they need help.
Never could I have imagined the power of media in helping others. My sweet Melissa is changing lives with the media she dreamed of being part of.
If you are suffering with an eating disorder, or know somebody who is, there is help. Reach out to the National Eating Disorder Association [NEDA] at http://nationaleatingdisorders.org, or call for assistance at 1-800-931-2237.