Tuesday 13 January 2015

In memory of Charlotte Bevan who passed away from cancer one year ago today

Here's what I've posted on my Facebook page: Many of you will know that Charlotte Bevan was the best friend and support that anyone could have while battling with a potentially life-threatening crisis in the family. Anorexia Nervosa is still a much misunderstood illness with the highest death rate of any mental illness (Research has found that 1 in 5 sufferers will die prematurely as a result of it).

And it is a notoriously difficult illness to treat. (If only it were as simple as 'just telling them to eat'!!!!!!)

For a number of years, from 2009, my teenage son suffered from this deadly condition which, like any serious mental or physical illness, doesn't just affect the patient but affects the entire family. If you have read my books, you will know that this experience can only be described as 'sheer hell'. Actually, that's an understatement, it's worse, as many here will confirm.

According to Charlotte's Helix: 'Scientists have known for some time that there is a genetic link [for developing anorexia / eating disorders], but now ... we finally have the opportunity to "crack the code" and understand what makes some people more predisposed to an eating disorder. This opens the door to new insights and effective treatments.'

Today is the first anniversary of Charlotte Bevan's death from cancer. Who was Charlotte? Well, apart from pioneering Charlotte's Helix in the UK (virtually right up until the day she died, one year ago today), Charlotte was the #1 person you could rely on to be on the phone in a flash whenever you were going through some hellish episode - with a blend of sage advice, sympathy, empathy and - often - a 'good, no-nonsense talking to' which motivated you, as a parent, to carry on and do the right thing for your child.

And Charlotte did this for dozens of other families across the UK, and beyond. Even when she was so sick with the breast cancer that she couldn't get out of bed. But, then, that was Charlotte for you, always thinking of others.

There is so much that is good to say about wonderful Charlotte that there simply isn't room here. But, today, in memory of this incredible woman, we are donating to Charlotte's Helix in the hope that one day the world may be able to stop deadly anorexia and other eating disorders (equally as deadly) - for good. (And, as you may know, Paul Osborne and I are doing our January Dry Athlon for Cancer Research in memory of Charlotte, too.)

Dear Charlotte, there are hundreds of people across the world who will be remembering you today. Our thoughts are, of course, with her family on this day, too. If you feel able, please donate in her memory today:


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