"Anorexic wants young girls to see the truth
Woman fighting for her life says eating disorder has horrifying results
by BOBBIE-LYNN HALL
The Bedford Sackville Weekly News
April 18, 2008
Laura has great plans for her life - plans that, to someone else, may not seem extraordinary. She wants a career, to travel and get married, but for now those plans are in jeopardy.
After suffering with anorexia nervosa for nine years, 25-year-old Laura Cross is finally facing the fact that she will probably lose her life if she doesn't find a way to beat the deadly eating disorder.
She is currently in the hospital for health issues directly related to anorexia, and she has recently been transferred from intensive care to a room at the QEII Hospital. Just two weeks ago, she slipped into a coma, but she came back and she's ready to start her fight all over again.
"I've tried so hard," said Cross from her hospital bed, "but every time I take one step forward, I fall back three. Thoughts and fears race through my head every minute of the day. It (the disorder) consumes my mind."
Unfortunately, having the courage to fight is not always enough. There are facilities designed to treat patients with eating disorders, but they come at a high cost. Last week, Cross's closest friends Meredith Copp and Allison Coffin held a benefit auction to help raise money, and although $2,700 is an impressive amount for a small auction, it would barely cover one day at some facilities.
"My parents said they would sell their house," said Cross, "but I won't let them do it; I can't."
Cross grew up in Sackville and went through elementary and junior high there.
Her eating disorder began when she started high school.
"I saw the pictures of models in the magazines and on television," she said. "I know now that they were unhealthy and that they were airbrushed, but I didn't know that then."
Cross wants to let every young person out there know what they're seeing is not real. And as desperate as she is to fight for herself, she's just as desperate to get the message out there of how horrifying this disorder is.
"This is not glamorous," she said. "It's ugly and it messes with your body, and with your mind. I can see in pictures how awful and sick I look, but when I look in the mirror I pinch my skin and I see fat. It's not something you can just quit cold turkey; it's not like that. I want to beat it, I want to be OK, but I'm constantly fighting that angel and devil on my shoulder and the devil usually wins."
Cross will stay in the hospital until she's stronger. She has a long battle ahead of her with many things to conquer, including other health issues related to the anorexia.
"I have to deal with this first," she said of the disorder. "Right now, it's about making this part of me healthy. I'll deal with the other things one at a time when I'm able."
Cross doesn't know her current weight because she's not permitted to look at the scale when she's being weighed. She does know that her BMI (body mass index) is under 15.
To have a BMI less than 15, a five-foot-five woman would have to weigh less than 89 lbs.
Cross's family and friends are continuing to raise money to go toward her treatment..."