On September 2, 2005 we received a phone call saying in essence, our daughter Cammy‘s heart was not beating, and she was on her way to Erlanger hospital by way of ambulance. While we huddled with close friends and family in prayer, we were given the devastating news that she was gone.
How does something like this happen to a vibrant 26 year old young woman? How do you reconcile just two days prior taking a long walk with someone who expressed her dreams for the future who appeared healthy and happy. Well, I can only state that eating disorders are deadly.
She suffered from all three of the eating disorders (defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders #4). She had binge eating disorder in high school, where she ate in excess in private. During her freshmen year in college she turned to bulimia to rid herself of her excess high school weight. She could eat large amounts of food and then purge by way of vomiting. She was also pairing her bulimia with anorexia which can often be the case. This behavior took its toll when in her junior year of college she went into cardiac arrest, and we almost lost her for the first time. We learned when you purge you rid yourself of essential electrolytes that control the beating of the heart and thus causing it to shut down.
We sent her for treatment to Arizona to save her life, and to hopefully help her overcome her E.D. When she left after almost three months we thought she had it beaten. Unfortunately, there were additional life threatening instances that followed. Eating Disorders seemed to control her in such a way that nothing seemed to help. After many years of therapy and finding the true love of her life we thought she was finally on the road to recovery. This proved not to be the case. We are not sure to this day what exactly caused her final cardiac failure, but for sure it was a result of her eating disorders.
To honor her memory Ashley Yates (her closest friend) and I (Jan Robinson, Cammy’s Mother) founded the Mary Cameron Robinson (MCR) Foundation for the prevention and treatment of eating disorders. It would have been so helpful to me had there been a source like this when Cammy was struggling. There is so much to learn about this disease and the earlier it is treated the better the chance of survival. Denying it will not cause it to go away. We must educate ourselves to be aware of the behaviors and to intervene as soon as possible. This is absolutely crucial. Cammy would be so proud to know her death was not in vain and she lives on with this foundation.
MCR’S Mission Statement
The mission of the MCR Foundation is to provide resources for people who are affected by eating disorders in the Greater Chattanooga Tri-State area. The Foundation is committed to a holistic approach encompassing physical, emotional, spiritual, and social well being.
MCR will do this by:
• Providing education and multi-media resources
• Promoting awareness and developing prevention strategies
• Providing support systems
• Conducting research for community needs
• Promoting a healthy lifestyle and a appropriate self image
• Serve as a resource for referrals for counseling and treatment
The MCR Foundation will be a comprehensive non-profit center in the Chattanooga Tri-State area for education concerning prevention early diagnosis and treatment of individuals and families affected by eating disorders, focusing on healing the mind, body, and spirit.