NEDA Walk Coming Up April 7
Event Raises Awareness of Eating Disorders
Writer / Michelle Kaufman
Photos provided by Shannon Nunnelly
Nunnelly says she didn’t know a lot about eating disorders until her daughter was diagnosed with one five years ago. She began to learn more about them and discovered it affected everyone in her family.
“It really takes support from everyone in the family when you’re dealing with something like this,” Nunnelly says.
More than $12,000 was raised during each of the last two walks, and Nunnelly hopes to raise $15,000 this year.
“The most significant thing that has come out of that first walk is the awareness piece,” Nunnelly says. “I was just going into it thinking I was going to raise money, which is a big part of the walk, but for me, that awareness piece has been what keeps me going.”
Nunnelly does advocacy work at the state and national level. She recently was asked to go to Washington D.C. as part of the Indiana Eating Disorder Coalition to speak on Capitol Hill.
“It was really incredible,” she says. “Advocacy wasn’t something that I had done before. I’d never even been to Washington D.C. It was really a great, eye-opening experience. It felt great to be around people with the same passion and share our story.”
Locally, Nunnelly hopes to have eating disorder awareness week recognized and also wants to bring The Body Project into Center Grove schools, which has participants voluntarily critique culture’s appearance-ideal promoted for females during weekly meetings.
Nunnelly does most of her advocacy work through NEDA and refers people there for information and resources.
“People don’t know a lot about [eating disorders],” she says. “They tend to only think that anorexia is the only eating disorder. There is so much stigma around them. I think people are really afraid, so that’s where my passion has just grown and that’s what really fuels me. With my daughter in the very beginning, I didn’t know where to turn, I didn’t know anything.”
The walk will take place April 7 at Garfield Park in Indianapolis. To sign up, visit nedawalk.org. Registration is $25 and includes a t-shirt. Participants are not required to fundraise anymore than the $25 registration fee. If you would like to volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org.