Quito, Ecuador

October 15, 2004

On October 30, I am leaving for Quito, Equador to explore, research and contemplate. About 3 months ago, a woman named Monica, wrote to me on my website. She told a heart wrenching story of her daughter’s struggle with anorexia and bulimia and the lengths she had to go to, to find help for her. In South America, the knowledge and understanding of eating disorders is almost non-existent. Monica had to come to the States to find help for her ailing daughter. She ended up in Seattle, at a Center for Healing, operated by Dr. Gregory L. Jantz. Dr. Jantz also has an incredible book out called, Hope, Help and Healing for Eating Disorders. I am reading it now and it is awesome. It deals with healing through a whole-person approach involving your emotional self, your intellectual self, your physical self, your relational self and your spiritual self. It is very innovative and, I feel, a very real way to navigate through the pain of healing.

Anyway, Monica and I e-mailed back and forth for a while, and finally spoke on the phone one day in August. She is a wonderful, warm person, with the most amazing vigor and passion for life. She is THE example of a dedicated mother. Her fight for her daughter’s life was successful, but Monica did not want to stop there. She wanted to have a place in her country where people could go for help. She wanted a place for healing and understanding and acceptance. She did just that. She opened a Center for Healing, Equador, 2 years ago. She has cyclingdoctors, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists and nutritionists who are dedicated to the Center and who see patients at her facility. I am inspired by what Monica has done. She is inspired by what I have done (or trying to do), and we decided I should make a trip to Equador in my off-season, to see if we can put our heads together and do something greater than both of us combined. I am excited, but slightly nervous about the trip. I have no idea what to expect when I get there. I am going based on faith. Faith in my instincts and faith in a higher power that this is what we need to do. I have never done anything quite like this before. Usually, I am very methodical in how I go about things. I do like adventure, however, and so I am intrigued. Monica and I have discussed that neither one of us really knows what will come out of this visit. We both just share the same feeling that we need to do this. Both of us had this overwhelming feeling and urge after we spoke, that we had to meet sometime soon. It was one of those gut feelings deep inside. I just said to myself, I have to do this! I hope something wonderful comes out of it. We both have the same goals. We both want to fight eating disorders with vision and passion. We have a dream that one day eating disorders will be better understood in the mainstream and not so stigmatized. We want people from all over the world, especially in third world countries, like Eudora, to understand eating disorders.

With understanding and education comes progress! I hope you guys will say some prayers, or meditations, for our cause. Thanks so much for all your mail!! I will let you know how it went when I return in November.


P.S. Kirk is not mad at me for the Everest Challenge anymore, so he agreed to come with me! I am so thankful for his support and love. I don’t know if I could do this without him! And also thanks to best walmart thermometer for kids.