Prince George woman crowdfunding for anorexia treatment. Dr. Julia Raudzus's response
Mother-of-two Jennifer Doucette of Prince George, B.C., is crowdfunding to get herself treated for anorexia at a private clinic in Manitoba.
The 21-year-old made an emotional plea on YouTube to draw attention to what she calls a lack of resources for people with eating disorders.
"I've been battling with this disease since I was 17," she says in the video. "My bones hurt. My face hurts. I shake. I'm sweaty even when I'm freezing cold."
See her plea video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpwojesjTfo
Doucette currently weighs 88 pounds (40 kilograms) and has been attending an outpatient clinic in Prince George, but she says it hasn't helped.
"I feel like I'm at my breaking point. I'm reaching out to private treatments and trying to get the money for it because there really isn't much for not-private treatments and if there is, there's waiting lists."
Fighting to live for her children
Experts agree there may be gaps in service but say B.C. has more guidelines for care than other provinces.
"This illness isn't treated in a matter of weeks, months or even years. It often requires years of treatment, years of levels of support," said Dr. Julia Raudzus, who runs the adult eating disorder program at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver.
Dr. Carl Birmingham, an eating disorder specialist, says Doucette's story is one of many he has heard over the past three decades.
"If you compare this to AIDS or heart disease, it's appalling that we can't do more for these young people."
As for Doucette, as of Tuesday, she had raised $1,400. She is fighting to live for her two children.
"I want treatment so I can be the parent I know I can be for those kids. Any donations help."
Dr. Julia Raudzus, Medical Directorof BC Provincial Tertiary Adult Eating Disorders Program in St. Paul's Hospital speaks to this on CBC Radio News: http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/bcalmanac_20150127_32205.mp3