Help me be half the woman I am today...

$20,449 of $50k goal

Raised by 208 people in 29 months
MP
Mary Ann Parks  CARLISLE, PA

I draw stick figures:I'm not one in real life.



I never will be. And, I'm ok with that. My value doesn't lie in a number on a scale, or a size on a tag in the collar of my shirt. What I'm not ok with is the toll my size has taken, and will continue to take, on my health. I need to make changes. BIG changes (pun fully intended). These changes are more than just changing what or how much I eat, more than dealing with the compulsive eating diagnosis that at least puts a name on part of my struggle. These changes are a complete re-wiring of how I think, feel and act:habits developed over 30+ years. These changes will be difficult, and I can't make them without professional help.

That's where you come in.

My name is Mary. I am an artist and designer, and I live in a small town in south-central PA. Let me tell you a couple things about myself, to help you understand where I am coming from. The first thing is that I use humor as a coping mechanism. So, if I seem flippant, or joke around about my size and situation, it's not that I don't take it seriously. I do. But, laughter helps me cope with the day-to-day issues. So, just for the time you're reading this, you have my full permission to laugh at any and all fat jokes I might crack.

I wasn't always big.






In fact, I was a pretty normal looking kid, until I hit kindergarten.



I was quiet and not terribly active, but I wasn't really fat:come to think of it, I wasn't even chubby, really. But, just when I should have been losing any baby fat, I started to gain. I don't know why, precisely.








As the years went by, I got bigger. I had my ups and downs, when I would try different diets and things like that, but generally, as I grew in age, I grew in size.





I won't bore you with all of the stuff I dealt with as a kid/teenager/young adult, except to say that I faced a lot of challenges (as did many).



My goal is to get into a short-term inpatient treatment program (preferably the Renfew Program in Philadelphia), and make the most of that opportunity to kick-start my 'recovery.' I know that it is a long journey that I have ahead of me, and that it is going to take lots of hard work and changes on my part. Thankfully, I have a great support system in place. So, now I have the people in place, the motivation and desire to change...the only thing I lack is the resources.



It's kind of obvious that I can't really work at this stage. (Not just due to my size, but that is a large factor). I mean, I had to sit down to play Wii. That's not good. Eventually, I want to get back in to the workforce and be a "productive member of society" but I have a lot of work to do before that can happen. 



I have a really hard time asking for help, so if this seems fragmented, rambling or any of the above, it's because I needed to hit "Post" before I talked myself out of it. Any help is hugely appreciated. 

Some people ask what my goal is in all of this. I don't have a specific number goal, as far as weight loss, but I want to get to a point where I can walk more than just a little without being out of breath, and I want to be able to go to the thrift store and buy clothes (sounds silly if you've never had to worry about stores having clothing in your size). I want to be able to go to a friends' house, and not worry if their furniture is strong enough to support me, or whether it will hold me. 

===================================
A really rough breakdown of how (at least some) of the money would be used is as follows:

$3600 - will cover one year of health insurance; this insurance will enable me to go to the 3-month rehab/treatment program I want to go into. (Otherwise, I would be looking at $800 per day at the lowest end of the sliding scale for self-pay). Also, this will allow for after-care following treatment.

$2100
 - holding my apartment/housing until I complete the program and can return home; 

$300(?) - incidental expenses related to getting into my desired rehab/treatment program (traveling for assessment and again for intake, etc.); I'm not sure exactly how much to allow for this, to be honest, so I'm hopefully over estimating. 

$???Co-pays/Doctor fees - expenses not covered by the insurance.



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Update 11
26 months ago

Hi this is Theresa again. If you came to this page to make a donation you picked the right moment to do so. We are in the middle of a matching grant and the next 800 dollars will be matched dollar for dollar. So there, don't let me slow you down any longer. We have only until Friday at about 4:30 pm to raise the rest of this money. Thank you.
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Update 10
26 months ago

This is Mary. Thank you so much for all of your support!!!! I snuck into my therapist's office to post this - just kidding! :-) I'm doing great, and the treatment plan is working wonders - love you all and thank you again!!!
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Update 9
26 months ago

Hi, my name is Theresa Savage and I'm helping Mary by monitoring and updating this page while she is at the Renfrew Center getting the help she so desperately needs.

MARY PARKS WANTS TO LIVE. After battling an eating disorder and the mental illnesses which have caused it, Mary Ann Parks took the incredibly brave step of admitting that she needed help. And, with pre-approval from her insurance company, checked herself in to the Renfrew Center for intensive treatment to save her life. Unbelievably, two weeks later, her insurance company decided, despite the pleadings from her psychiatrist, doctor, and other medical professionals, that there wasn't ACTUALLY anything wrong with her...even though she's experiencing kidney failure, she was an untreated, undiagnosed diabetic, and she CAN'T WALK. And that doesn't even begin to address the phobias, the depression, and other psychological issues that are FINALLY being addressed by the wonderful staff at the Renfrew Center.

To keep her there while we fight the insurance company's heartless decision to let her die, we have to raise $950 by TOMORROW MORNING. It's the last bit of a $7,000+ payment to keep her there for another two weeks. Every day she's there, she's closer to saving her life. You can be part of the solution. Please help Mary! No contribution is too small, every dollar helps.
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Update 8
27 months ago

Tomorrow's the big day. Sorry...no picture with this update - I'm a little bit of a "hot mess," as we would say where I grew up. No need to subject you all to that. But, tomorrow night, Pat and I are hitting the road and heading to Florida. We're gonna post some pictures (and maybe even some video, if we can) from along the way... Thank you, everyone, for your support through all of this.
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Read a Previous Update
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 1.6K total shares
Aaron Todd
17 months ago

As someone who lost over 220lbs (100kg where I come from), kept it off for years, got counselling and then paid full price to have skin removed I will just ask why can't any of this be done without asking for a tonne of money? I get that at this point it's difficult to see that things can be different but if you saw a psychologist out of your own pocket, ate way less and better food then you'd be on your way. You could easily lose 10lbs in the first week without trying; if you didn't then you're not ready to take anyones' money. That's not fair. I've been in your shoes but I paid my dues. I feel like this is a cop out and I'd hate to see you take a lot of other peoples' money and still end up in the same boat. I'm sure I'll get a stack of hate but this is a fair response. To make progress really isn't hard, you'll see weight loss is possible within a week, the only thing I'd say is to definitely see an obesity/eating disorder psych and then take it from there.

+ Read More
Jennifer Love
16 months ago

To those below who've made crummy comments about $ and "why don't you", let me say this. Don't assume you know Mary's situation. Don't assume you know her physical limitations, financial limitations, family limitations or really anything about the situation. Just as easily as you could project your life accomplishments onto a perfect stranger, you could also just as easily keep your negativity in check. I kind of chuckled when you quote, "that's not fair", as if someone magically gave you the "fairness" stamp and ASS IF (ass intended) what you think fair has any bearing on Mary's weight-loss journey. Having physically walked beside Mary PRIOR to her already substantial weight loss, I read your comments with disdain and saddened by the lack of sensitivity and maturity of the posts. Mary will finish her journey...in the meanwhile...you guys go spit your nay saying elsewhere.

+ Read More
David Yesilirmak
17 months ago

I don't understand why it costs $50,000 and whilst I respect you're trying to loose wait all you need to do is eat less and exercise (http://imgur.com/4iP1WBf) , not fleece people for money because you're too lazy to work and need more money for food. Even if you want to follow you're plan the costs you've stated haven't come near $50,000 let alone $20,000. Hire a personal trainer if you can't do it on your own, don't make it out like you've got serious problem like a drug addiction and need to spend loads of money on help. If you want online free help try http://www.reddit.com/r/loseit or if they don't help motivate you, mabye some hate will http://www.reddit.com/r/fatpeoplehate/

+ Read More
Melissa Foreman
26 months ago

I keep checking back to see the progress and I'm overjoyed to see the amount of love, compassion, and generosity!! Keep fighting, Mary. A lot of people obviously care about you!!!

+ Read More
Ali Frohman
26 months ago

Sending you strength for your journey, Mary!

+ Read More
Phil Landsberg
26 months ago

Mary, I wish I could just hit donate and send the rest of what u need. I've been sending Pats article and your story to any media and newspapers I have contacts with, both local and national news around here, in the hopes that the story gets picked up by someone looking to make a name for themselves sticking it to insurance companies, Obamacare,nwhatevernwhatever- just something to bring more attention to this and help

+ Read More
Anissa Tibbetts
27 months ago

Hey you trying to do this for myself as well right now and keep my kids on track as well. you are not alone . WE LOVE YOU !!!

+ Read More
Heather Zysk
28 months ago

Unfortunately I can't financially make a donation, I wish I could but I wanted to wish you well. Sending good thoughts and prayers!

+ Read More
Rita Sullivan
28 months ago

Mary, our stories are very similar . I have been on a health journey for two years now and have lost approx. 175 pounds. The hardest part was getting started. I am so glad I did. I don't have much money but I am willing to meet you when I come to PA this summer and be supportive. I am sending what I can.

+ Read More
Kristine Scoville
29 months ago

I am so excited that your making this journey. I myself am in the same boat and have made the decision to change my life. while reading your story I was taken aback that there is a facility that can help that excepts insurance! my name is Kristine and I would love to know how you found this and where it is! I hope for complete success in your journey as I keep hope for mine :-)

+ Read More

$20,449 of $50k goal

Raised by 208 people in 29 months
Created May 6, 2014
MP
LM
$100
Lisa Milos
25 months ago

Mary Ann, you have an outpouring of love from the community. No one should have to fight their battles alone. Get well. The First Night Carlisle board misses you! Lisa Milos

AD
$10
Ashley Davis
25 months ago

Hi Mary! You may not remember me, but I met you awhile ago while attending Dickinson College. You gave me some names to look for an apartment in Philadelphia, and were so nice to me! You helped me, so I am going to help you. Good luck!!

DF
$29
Drew Forster
25 months ago

God bless you Mary. May His healing continue May His strength drive you. May His love enfold you.

BG
$20
Becca G
25 months ago
$100
Anonymous
26 months ago
$20
Gwen Moore
26 months ago

Sending some peace and joy your way!

$20
Vernice Aikey
26 months ago

I am so proud of you Mary! Sending all the encouragement that I can along with this little donation. I pray and BELIEVE the Lord will continue to increase your blessings. Keep up the great work sweet lady!

JV
$150
Jordan Vanasdale
26 months ago
$8,740
Anonymous
26 months ago
$1,000
Anonymous
26 months ago
Aaron Todd
17 months ago

As someone who lost over 220lbs (100kg where I come from), kept it off for years, got counselling and then paid full price to have skin removed I will just ask why can't any of this be done without asking for a tonne of money? I get that at this point it's difficult to see that things can be different but if you saw a psychologist out of your own pocket, ate way less and better food then you'd be on your way. You could easily lose 10lbs in the first week without trying; if you didn't then you're not ready to take anyones' money. That's not fair. I've been in your shoes but I paid my dues. I feel like this is a cop out and I'd hate to see you take a lot of other peoples' money and still end up in the same boat. I'm sure I'll get a stack of hate but this is a fair response. To make progress really isn't hard, you'll see weight loss is possible within a week, the only thing I'd say is to definitely see an obesity/eating disorder psych and then take it from there.

+ Read More
Jennifer Love
16 months ago

To those below who've made crummy comments about $ and "why don't you", let me say this. Don't assume you know Mary's situation. Don't assume you know her physical limitations, financial limitations, family limitations or really anything about the situation. Just as easily as you could project your life accomplishments onto a perfect stranger, you could also just as easily keep your negativity in check. I kind of chuckled when you quote, "that's not fair", as if someone magically gave you the "fairness" stamp and ASS IF (ass intended) what you think fair has any bearing on Mary's weight-loss journey. Having physically walked beside Mary PRIOR to her already substantial weight loss, I read your comments with disdain and saddened by the lack of sensitivity and maturity of the posts. Mary will finish her journey...in the meanwhile...you guys go spit your nay saying elsewhere.

+ Read More
David Yesilirmak
17 months ago

I don't understand why it costs $50,000 and whilst I respect you're trying to loose wait all you need to do is eat less and exercise (http://imgur.com/4iP1WBf) , not fleece people for money because you're too lazy to work and need more money for food. Even if you want to follow you're plan the costs you've stated haven't come near $50,000 let alone $20,000. Hire a personal trainer if you can't do it on your own, don't make it out like you've got serious problem like a drug addiction and need to spend loads of money on help. If you want online free help try http://www.reddit.com/r/loseit or if they don't help motivate you, mabye some hate will http://www.reddit.com/r/fatpeoplehate/

+ Read More
Melissa Foreman
26 months ago

I keep checking back to see the progress and I'm overjoyed to see the amount of love, compassion, and generosity!! Keep fighting, Mary. A lot of people obviously care about you!!!

+ Read More
Ali Frohman
26 months ago

Sending you strength for your journey, Mary!

+ Read More
Phil Landsberg
26 months ago

Mary, I wish I could just hit donate and send the rest of what u need. I've been sending Pats article and your story to any media and newspapers I have contacts with, both local and national news around here, in the hopes that the story gets picked up by someone looking to make a name for themselves sticking it to insurance companies, Obamacare,nwhatevernwhatever- just something to bring more attention to this and help

+ Read More
Anissa Tibbetts
27 months ago

Hey you trying to do this for myself as well right now and keep my kids on track as well. you are not alone . WE LOVE YOU !!!

+ Read More
Heather Zysk
28 months ago

Unfortunately I can't financially make a donation, I wish I could but I wanted to wish you well. Sending good thoughts and prayers!

+ Read More
Rita Sullivan
28 months ago

Mary, our stories are very similar . I have been on a health journey for two years now and have lost approx. 175 pounds. The hardest part was getting started. I am so glad I did. I don't have much money but I am willing to meet you when I come to PA this summer and be supportive. I am sending what I can.

+ Read More
Kristine Scoville
29 months ago

I am so excited that your making this journey. I myself am in the same boat and have made the decision to change my life. while reading your story I was taken aback that there is a facility that can help that excepts insurance! my name is Kristine and I would love to know how you found this and where it is! I hope for complete success in your journey as I keep hope for mine :-)

+ Read More
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