1. @theshirarose. A fierce Health At Every Size clinician, licensed eating disorder therapist in New York, a body positive blogger , and an advocate changing lives for the better, online and off. 2. Beloved and dear friend, daughter, sister. 3. A recovery warrior who’s battling an eating disorder for the last 20 years — who desperately wants to get better... and is fighting for her life at this very moment.
If you don’t know Shira, we (her friends) will be the first to admit we’re a little biased.
But we can’t help it. She’s as sparkly as she is determined; she’s kind, funny, and endlessly compassionate… except, of course, when she’s giving an unapologetic middle finger to diet culture.
For Shira, though, the damage that diet culture does — especially to those of us in larger bodies — is something she didn’t just know as an eating disorder therapist or a body positive blogger.
Shira became passionate about fighting back against a culture that fears food and demonizes fat bodies for a deeply personal reason: A decades-long battle with anorexia nervosa, a mental illness that has nearly cost her her life.
Shira bravely began sharing her story in recovery last March, when she told the world in this post that she was tired of hiding her illness.
While she feared the backlash she would receive as a mental health professional, and the questions she would inevitably be asked as someone who didn’t “look sick,” she pushed forward with an important message: Eating disorders do not discriminate.
She was ready to take the unicorn by its horn, and after four months in residential care, she was prepared to step down to outpatient treatment.
Her treatment team, however, made the unconscionable decision to discharge her after just one month.
Shira desperately wants to keep fighting. But she doesn’t have the funds to secure a new treatment team. That’s why we’re turning to the community for help.
When we say that Shira could die, it’s not an exaggeration. And as her friends, words can’t describe how it feels to write those words.
Eating disorders have one of the highest mortality rates of all psychiatric diagnoses. And with Shira’s history, numerous risk factors — including previous relapses which included her organs shutting down, and incurring a serious concussion after fainting and falling down the stairs — speak to just how dangerous this has become.
Shira’s body cannot continue to endure the ravages of this disorder. And Shira herself doesn’t want to live like this, but in order to recover, she needs more support.
Shira became a therapist and advocate because she knows firsthand the suffering that comes with these deadly disorders.
Over the last several years, she’s put so much of her heart into creating a platform that breaks down stigma, educates others on fatphobia and recovery, and celebrates the joy of being the very best version of you — all while helping others, as both a clinician and blogger, in their own recovery journeys.
We believe that Shira deserves the same compassionate, empowering, and supportive care that she has continued to offer others throughout her career.
If every one of her friends and followers donated just $1, we’d reach our campaign goal before batting an eyelash. We could get Shira back into treatment tomorrow. We could give her the chance to truly heal, a chance she was utterly denied in her last round of treatment.
Despite Shira’s organs shutting down and this lethal disorder raging on, insurance companies still refuse to cover life-saving treatment for eating disorders.
The horrifying reality is, it’s up to us.
Shira has done everything in her power to hold on. And now, it’s time for us to show up for her.
Without your donations, there is no other way for Shira to get the chance she needs to lead a full and healthy life.
Please help us give our friend a fighting chance.
If you’re wondering why we’re asking for this amount, here’s the total breakdown:
OPTION #1 - IDEAL OPTION
An ideal option for Shira includes starting off with 3 months in PHP (Partial Hospitalization Treatment Program) which is a step down from residential treatment and means that she has ongoing structured support throughout the day, but is not living in the treatment center.
PHP 3 months
$15,600 PHP Treatment Month #1 ($600 / day x 6 days a week) $1,500 Rent while in PHP Month #1 $48,000 PHP Treatment Months #2 and #3 ($800 / day for 7 days a week) $2,600 Therapist ($200 / week) $2,600 Dietitian ($200 / week)
~ 5% for credit card fees (2.9% + .30 cents per donation)
STRETCH GOAL - If we exceed our $75,000 goal (please G-d!), the additional funds will be used for a 3 month period of IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) which continues to provide her with the guidance she needs on a regular, but not daily basis, and allows her to integrate back into her day to day life.
IOP 3 months
$44,200 IPO ($800 / day x 4 days a week) $2,600 Therapist ($200 / week) $2,600 Dietitian ($200 / week)
OPTION #2 - LESS IDEAL OPTION
If for whatever reason, the full amount of funds for the above treatment cannot be raised, the next best option would be to seek out meal support. This would look like working with a professional on a one-on-one basis outside of a treatment center to ensure that she’s eating to nourish her body and continue to develop a healthy relationship with food.
$40,500 Meal Support ($450 / day x 7 days a week x 3 months) $2,600 Therapist ($200 / week) $2,600 Dietitian ($200 / week)
NO ONE CHOOSES AN EATING DISORDER. Mental illnesses don’t discriminate, no matter your size or profession. But Shira is choosing recovery in spite of all that she’s endured.
This isn’t a losing battle. But something this serious can’t be remedied by sheer force or willpower. She needs a proper team of professionals and access to competent, compassionate treatment.
Recovery is within reach for Shira. Every donation will bring it that much closer.
We hope you’ll consider donating, and sharing this with friends and family. We want our friend to live — no one deserves to lose their life to a treatable disorder. She’s ready to keep fighting, and we won’t stop until she gets the care that she needs.