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The Renfrew Center Foundation Partners with 2008 Miss America Kirsten Haglund and Her Mom, Iora Haglund, to Empower Parents to Fight Eating Disorders
Date:2/25/2009

Mom's L.U.V. (Loyal, United, Vocal) Program encourages parents across the country to confront the challenge of eating disorders

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week February 22-28

"I found a note from my mom on the kitchen table when I came home from school. It said, 'I know you have bulimia. We need to talk.'"

(EXCERPT FROM A TEEN ON-LINE CHAT FORUM)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Finding the right way to discuss an eating disorder with a child can be incredibly difficult. To address this issue, The Renfrew Center Foundation, the country's leading authority on eating disorders for more than twenty years, is introducing the "Mom's L.U.V." campaign. The campaign is designed to encourage parents across America to take responsibility for helping their teens battle this life-threatening disease that often goes undetected and untreated.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090225/PH74159 )

"Mom's L.U.V." brings together professionals from The Renfrew Center, Kirsten Haglund and her mother, Iora, as well as mom ambassadors from around the country who are "coming out" to share their personal family stories of struggle and triumph in confronting eating disorders. Elements of the program include public education, speaking engagements, a free toolkit for parents and an on-line discussion forum at www.renfrew.org.

"At Renfrew, we deal with this challenge every day--parents who may feel too frightened and helpless to face the reality of having a child with an eating disorder, or too embarrassed because they worry they are to blame," said Adrienne Ressler, MA, LMSW, CEDS, National Training Director, The Renfrew Center Foundation. "Rather than admit there is a problem, some parents choose to ignore the signs, and the problem escalates until it cannot be ignored any longer. The 'Mom's L.U.V.' campaign aims to break this cycle and get everyone involved in the early stages."

"The journey to Kirsten becoming Miss America seemed, in a way, magical, but there was nothing magical about us getting past her anorexia as a family--the struggles, heartache, pain and hard work," said Iora Haglund. "This campaign gives us an incredible opportunity to share our story and inspire other families to do whatever it takes to recognize what is going on in their lives. To all the mothers, fathers, and children out there, there is knowledge, help, and healing."

Iora and Kirsten will begin spreading the word through a national and regional news media tour in conjunction with National Eating Disorders Week (February 22-28). In addition, "Mom's L.U.V." ambassadors, with assistance from The Renfrew Center Foundation, will be fulfilling similar duties on a local grassroots level in order to reach as many families as possible. In conjunction with the campaign, The Renfrew Center will offer a FREE "Mom's L.U.V." toolkit for parents with fact sheets and information to help them address this issue. There will also be an online forum for parents to share their own stories and communicate with Iora and other "Mom's L.U.V." ambassadors at www.renfrew.org

About Kirsten Haglund

At the age of 12, Kirsten Haglund began struggling with anorexia nervosa. Although both of her parents were nurses, they failed to recognize the signs early on, but soon intervened and helped bring their daughter out of denial. Together, the Haglund family sought treatment and supported each other through recovery and, in 2008, saw a healthy, happy Kirsten crowned the youngest Miss America in the history of the pageant. The Kirsten Haglund Foundation for Eating Disorders was established to raise money for individuals seeking treatment that is not covered by health insurance.

About The Renfrew Center Foundation

The Renfrew Center Foundation, the non-profit arm of The Renfrew Center, the nation's leading eating disorder treatment centers for more than twenty years, was established to develop and implement programs and activities to advance knowledge and awareness of eating disorders and women's related mental health issues. The Foundation works to advance the education, prevention, research and treatment of eating disorders. For additional information about Renfrew or to learn more about eating disorders, please call 1-800-RENFREW or visit www.renfrew.org


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SOURCE The Renfrew Center Foundation
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