Your donations go directly to helping eating disorder sufferers to recover and gain back their lives. Hear from our treatment grant recipients on what the Project HEAL Treatment Grant means to them.
Written by Bonita
Almost a year ago, I submitted an application. I thought I was just another name on an application. Basic stats: female, late 20’s, African-American, dying, please help me. They only had my words that were typed with trembling hands, and a phone call or two to base their decision on…and they, Project HEAL, gave me a chance to save my life. Being selected for the Project HEAL treatment grant has been like seeing colors after only seeing in gray, hearing music for the first time, smelling the sweetest folds of the earth, tasting myelf smiling, and touching all the atoms that make me who I am and confirming that I am a soul that is worth saving. Project HEAL says I am worth saving. They have made one of the biggest differences in my life. Because of their belief in this “name on an application”, because of their strong belief in recovery, they gave me the gift of starting my own recovery journey. One that I thought was never going to happen, that I thought was impossible. The exquisite and fierce founders of Project HEAL, Kristina and Liana, turns impossible into I’M POSSIBLE. They chiseled me from the concrete grasp of my eating disorder’s suffocating arms, and placed me in the perfect treatment facilities for residential and outpatient, just as the darkness of despair was about to completely engulf me.
I feel very strongly that if my path had not aligned with Project HEAL, I would not be typing this testimony today…in this month of February, as a proud Black woman during Black History Month. I am alive! Without Project HEAL, I would not be able to say confidently that: Yes, recovery is possible. I have a ways to go. And when I begin to question myself, I know that Kristina and Liana believe in me…and that is worth staying in this fight for. Project HEAL, I thank you for constantly opening up recovery doors for me, never shutting out faith and hope, your consistency, your transparency, and challenging this disabled health insurance system. This corrupt health insurance system that told me they did not care to cover any type of eating disorder treatments for me. But you did and do. Project HEAL, you are a positive and motivating force. Thank you for believing in me. I am forever humbly grateful.
Written by Lieba
I am eternally grateful to Project HEAL for believing in me and seeing what I could not see for so many years in myself. They believed that I Lieba had the strength to fight for recovery. Thank you Project HEAL for giving me another chance. Thank you for picking me up when I was down and letting me have this incredible life changing experience. I know I can go out there and change the world and I could not have gotten to that mindset without Project HEAL. So thank you, thank you for being my cheerleader.
Written by Amanda
Project HEAL has given me the opportunity to get my life back and no words will ever be able to express how thankful I am for the journey I am currently embarking on. I know this journey will not be a straight line, there will be setbacks, there will be triumphs, there will be obstacles; but I do know that because of Project HEAL I have a rock solid support system behind me and the tactics to endure on this road to full recovery. I am eternally grateful for Liana, Kristina and the wonderful gift of Project HEAL.
Written by Danielle
After battling my eating disorder for nearly a decade and with no financial means or insurance to help with treatment costs, I didn’t know how I could ever really recover. I was gifted a treatment grant and if there were a greater word for “gift” I would use it here. It was as if every prayer had been answered. Project HEAL reached out and told me I had a life worth saving. And that five letter word, worth, has carried me to where I am today.
Written by Jordan
Project Heal came to my rescue when insurance refused to keep me in treatment as long as I needed to be. I honestly can’t imagine what life would be like otherwise, which amazes me because at the time, I couldn’t imagine life without an eating disorder. Recovery is truly possible with the willingness to try and a solid support system. I’m so happy that Project Heal has been a part of that support system for me, and I will always be grateful!
Written by Caroline
Project HEAL changed my life when finances were hindering me from getting the level of care I needed. Project HEAL has allowed me to more fully trust that I am capable of feeding my body in ways that are satisfying to my soul, and continue building the self esteem that makes life more manageable. I am forever grateful for Liana and Kristina for their unreserved compassion and work for this community.
Written by Crystal
I am forever grateful for the family and support I have discovered in Project HEAL. They have literally given me a second chance to learn life skills. Through therapy, learning healthy coping skills, setting boundaries, having support through grief and acceptance, I am gradually building a solid foundation.
Written by Stephanie
The grant from Project HEAL provided me with the opportunity to receive treatment for my decade-long eating disorder, something I couldn’t have afforded on my own. Receiving treatment undoubtedly saved my life, gifting me with hope in a future filled with self-love and a healthy body image I never imagined was possible to achieve. I am eternally grateful to Project HEAL for believing in me enough to make such an investment in my recovery and life.
Written by Teresa
Since the age of 9 I have suffered from an eating disorder. For fifteen years I fought this fight alone; up until February of 2014, when Project HEAL came to my rescue. Through the incredible generosity of Project HEAL, I began my journey in treatment. Project HEAL supported me tirelessly throughout my four months of treatment; I am forever grateful to you all. A year ago I was buried in denial of my illness; now I wake up fighting.
Written by Adam
The Project HEAL treatment grant has impacted my life by giving me hope, inspiration and aspiration of leading an independent life where I can explore my dreams, wants and desires without having to worry about the views and opinions I placed on food. It provided me with a sense of security to know that I could receive help that was needed for me to maneuver life’s obstacles while being able to enjoy my days with the one’s I love and doing what I love most, living.
Written by Mandy
My experience with Project HEAL was nothing short of life-changing. Receiving the treatment grant has transformed me. I just want to say that Project HEAL is the best-kept secret in the U.S. I know many people struggling with similar eating disorders; it truly is an epidemic in our society. But treatment is so costly and it takes quite a bit of coordination and time to get into one let alone pay for it. Project HEAL save lives and empowers people to overcome a debilitating illness.
Written by Karina
Project HEAL helped me take all the necessary steps to arrive at a treatment facility that I desperately needed. Then, my preserving, experienced and compassionate treatment team took the reins and led me to the shores of recovery. Now, I finally have the tools to cultivate a healthy, whole hearted and compassionate lifestyle. The goals and ambitions I have set for myself are no longer out of sight; I know my future plans are possible. Nonetheless, recovery isn’t over. It continues to be an active, daily choice that I must work hard for. Eventually, recovery will evolve into a natural course of events, but in the meantime, I will choose recovery. Thank you Project HEAL!
Written by Elizaveta
I am very fortunate to have Kristina and Liana supporting me in my recovery. I am so grateful that the Project HEAL gave me an opportunity to start my life over. It’s my pleasure to be the recipient of this grant and represent this organization. Before I started my treatment, it felt like I was standing one foot in the water and one foot ashore. I really wanted to go swimming, but was afraid to let go my behaviors. Today, I am barely starting testing the water, but I know that one day I will be able to go swimming!!! Thank you very much for giving me a chance!!!
Written by Theresa
For the past year and a half, I have been in recovery. However, student loans and a large hospital bill left me with inconsistent treatment since moving back to northern California. Project HEAL has truly provided me with the best opportunity. I can now have more frequent and appropriate treatment so that I can reach my goals and ultimately become a therapist myself. The things that Project HEAL stands for – helping others reach their full potential and get their life back – is what I want to be able to do for others in the future. The enjoyment I am now getting from living a full life and pursuing my goals for the future serve as my inspiration for choosing recovery every day and accepting support, no matter how difficult. Project HEAL understands, and there is nothing better than feeling supported when we feel we can’t overcome some of the bumps we encounter on our road to recovery.
Written by Tricia
Receiving the treatment grant from Project HEAL came at the best possible opportunity. I had taken out a personal loan to receive the residential treatment I needed, but I wasn’t ready to leave treatment when my loan money was exhausted. Luckily, I received the grant and was able to extend my stay and tackle the issues that had encouraged my eating disorder for over ten years. Thank you Project HEAL for all of the work you do in educating the world on eating disorders and their treatment. I feel privileged to have received your help and I am awed by the impact you have made on my life and the lives of so many others.
Written by Carla
When Project HEAL called and told me that I had been awarded a treatment grant, I was standing in front of the mirror and at that moment I began to see who I wanted to be. Project HEAL gave me the armor, gave me the tools, and gave me the hope I needed to make it let go. Thank you Project HEAL for giving me warmth, leading me to the light, and extending a sense of comfort, when all I had was it keeping me cold, keeping me strained, and keeping all I could be somewhere in the dark.
Written by Caroline
Because of Project HEAL, I was given a new life. I hope that my experiences can show others that recovery is possible. My dream is to be a nurse and a care technician. I’m going to make a difference for others just like Project HEAL made a difference for me.
Written by Katherine
When Liana and Kristina called me to tell me that I was awarded a Project HEAL treatment grant, it was a gift that changed my life. I had always believed that I was alone. It wasn’t until last year, during several months of intensive treatment where I received the care that I had needed for 15 years and the acknowledgment that somebody believed in my worth enough to be responsible for sending me there, that I began to believe that I am not alone. It is this gift that has made my life worth living and fighting for. My gratitude to Project HEAL for giving me a second chance at the life I worked so hard to build is unending.
Written by Kelsey
Project HEAL changed my life. Being able to go to treatment has radically changed who I am as a person, how I interact with others, and, most importantly, how I interact with myself. Without Project HEAL, I firmly believe that I would not be pursuing my goals, and that the life that I was living before would have been all that I ever lived–I could not get myself out of the hole I had found myself in alone. I needed help. Project HEAL saved my life. Without it, I am afraid of who I would be today. There is never enough that I can do to thank Project HEAL and it’s amazing founders, Liana and Kristina. For now, all I can do is share their message, live a life that I deserve, and allow this beautiful organization to have changed my life–as much as my rolling eyes hate to admit it, it is something that I am grateful for every single day.
Written by Paloma
No words could be enough to express how thankful I am for the opportunity Project HEAL gave to me to get my life back. I can finally say I’m living, not just surviving. I can enjoy the happy moments in life – not constantly worrying about how I look, and how much weight I need to lose. I will forever be thankful to both Kristina and Liana for helping me on the journey to recovery.
Written by Samantha
Project HEAL allowed me to go with my parents to a full week of intensive family treatment. The therapists there gave me information and the tools I needed to help fight off the monster in my head. They gave me the power to lift myself up again. It was hard returning to school, with all the new rules and regulations. But I had a new spirit of hope and a more vivacious personality. I got my energy back! Eating lunch was no longer a chore, but a time talk with my friends about boys and have fun. I no longer felt isolated from the world. I now feel welcome and safe. Thank you, Project HEAL, for giving me my life back.
Written by Kim
When I first heard about Project HEAL, I was in a very dark and hopeless place in my life. I was so consumed by my eating disorder that not only did I believe recovery was impossible for me, but also that I wasn’t worth saving. I was lost. When Project HEAL awarded me the treatment grant, they gave me the chance to get my life back. They gave me a chance to get the treatment I needed and would have been unable to get on my own. It was truly the chance of a lifetime! I completed residential treatment in April 2012 and returned home with a renewed sense of hope—recovery IS possible, even for me.
Written by Nina
Written by Michelle
On February 24th 2015 I got a call from Project HEAL saying that I had received the treatment grant. That day will forever be the day that changed my life. It was the day that recovery became a real possibility. Project HEAL’s belief in me kept me motivated throughout treatment. They took a chance on me and believed that I was not only worthy of recovery but capable of achieving it too. They were able to see the confidence, determination and potential that I am now seeing in myself. While recovery is a crazy intense roller coaster of feelings, emotions and everything imaginable. Project HEAL was by my side throughout my whole roller coaster ride of recovery. They were that reminding voice that there is an end to the crazy ride. November of 2015 I decided to found the Southeast PA chapter of Project HEAL. Being a treatment grant recipient and chapter leader has given me the opportunity to and motivation to keep moving forward in my recovery. With Project HEAL’s help I have been able to gain back not only who I was before my eating disorder but grow and better myself to be the person I’ve always dreamt of being. Recovery has reminded me of the importance of everything from family and friends to really good ice cream. Recovery has given me the chance to live out my dreams. I am so thankful for Project HEAL and that they do, not only for me but for so many others. Liana and Kristina, you are true recovery warriors and such a great testament that full recovery is possible. Thank you both for being my recovery heroes and for never giving up on me.
Written by Kristin
There are not adequate words for me to express my gratitude to Project HEAL for giving me a chance and caring to reach out a hand of rescue- to ME. In return, I will continue to care for and nurture the gift given to me by walking out and living a life of recovery, no matter what and even when it is difficult. I also want to be a mouthpiece of hope and a hand of rescue for others in need. In that way, the gift given to me will reach beyond just this one life, and Lord willing, to many more. From the bottom of my now hopeful heart, Project HEAL, THANK YOU.
Written by Alexandria
If it hadn’t been for Project HEAL I would still be living day-in and day-out in my mundane existence. I was leading a dull life with continuous routine and predictable obligations that drained the life out of me. I wasn’t me. I was my anorexia. Recovery use to be just a dream, but now it is my reality. Recovery not only gave me a voice, but it gave me a life. Recovery is my new life and I’m loving it. It may be a long road of bumps and bruises but it’s so worth it.
Written by Rose
I am so grateful to everyone at Project HEAL for giving me the opportunity to fight for my life back. My eating disorder took everything away from me, I never would have been able to even imagine a life without my eating disorder but now I’m getting closer and closer to being the happy Rose that I was intended to be. I can’t believe the huge hearts and large amount of dedication and love I felt from Project HEAL. They truly gave me hope and encouragement in moments when I was at my lowest. Full recovery will take a lot more work to achieve but now it’s a graspable concept that I never thought was possible.
Written by Melanie
Allowing myself to be vulnerable and ask for help from Project HEAL has turned out to be one of the best choices of my life. Outwardly, I had so many markers of success: a happy relationship, a decent job, a Ph.D. But on the inside, I was completely falling apart from years of living with anorexia.The gift from Project HEAL allowed me to attend residential treatment for the first time, and it was the most beneficial experience I could have asked for. After 10+ years with anorexia, I never imagined the possibility of a life without an eating disorder. These days, I’m starting to recognize that I can have a life outside of anorexia. I will never forget the kindness and support that Liana and Kristina gave to me, and I am doing my best to pay it forward.
Written by Merlyn
I was in a period in my life where I had abandoned all hope for my future. My self-worth was lost and I did not know who I was without E.D. I knew I needed treatment right away, but I had no way to afford it. Luckily, I was able to learn about Project HEAL’s remarkable mission to provide treatment for people suffering from eating disorders. I read Liana’s and Kristina’s stories online and it sparked a glimmer of hope in myself. I knew if they could recover and find happiness then I could too. Liana and Kristina spoke to me on the phone and I knew I was meeting with people who would change my life. Thanks to Project HEAL for restoring my hope and making me realize that I can begin living my life NOW.
Written by Daniella
I recognize that my recovery is my foundation for living my life’s purpose and being of service. This strong foundation grows as I walk a kind, gentle, joyful, and courageous path. I look forward to supporting others on the path of recovery from an eating disorder through advocacy work. Meanwhile, I am continuing to build my life’s work of facilitating transformative nature based education and healing programs. Project HEAL has given me the gift of transforming my relationship with myself, my body, and my life, as has support me in building a life worth living!
Written by Olivia
I feel so appreciative and blessed to have been chosen for the opportunity to receive the treatment that I so desperately need to save my life. Project HEAL is such an amazing organization that has helped so many people and it is a true inspiration that proves recovery is possible, and once you are able to help yourself, you can also help so many others dealing with the same struggles.
Written by Angela
My life changed forever when I met the girls of Project HEAL and was sent to Remuda Ranch. Not only was I given an amazing opportunity that I thank God for, but I also learned that there was hope, that someone DID care and believe in me, and there was more to me than being sick. The recovery journey and unmatched kindness and compassion of Project HEAL have helped to shine a light in my darkness and call to an end my secret and silent suffering. Thank you Project HEAL! I don’t know where I’d be without you [and I don’t want to know]. Because of your help I am alive, and I am LIVING.
Written and drawn by Jessica
I thank you a million times for giving me the opportunity to be a part of princeton. This program taught me a lot, made me happy, laugh, smile, grow & live! You are all my role models! It was great to meet people (you) who understand me, and that since you guys all recovered, there’s hope for me also! Thank you so much!
Written by Valerie
When I got a surprise phone call from Kristina that I had been chosen for the grant, I could not contain my excitement and spent the rest of the evening screaming, laughing hysterically, and dancing around. Loads of stress rolled off my shoulders as I realized I would be able to continue much-needed treatment. Not only that, but becoming a part of the ‘family’ has been a huge inspiration and encouragement to me. Hearing from Liana and Kristina that they believe in me has helped me to ‘do the next right thing’ even when I feel like giving up. I am incredibly blessed by the privilege of having ProjectHEAL in my life as I move forward on this journey of recovery. Thank y’all so much!!!
Written by Lizzie
On my 24th birthday, I received the best present a girl struggling with anorexia could ask for. Kristina called me to let me know that Project HEAL would be funding my treatment. I was in complete shock. I could not believe that they believed in me, that they believed in my recovery. I cried the happiest tears. Kristina and Liana have been there as mentors, as role models, and as friends. They have shown me that I do have a life worth saving, that I am worthy, and that I am enough. They have shown me that life is beautiful, and recovery is possible. Project HEAL has lifted me up when I felt defeated. They have given me the strength to keep fighting. I struggled with anorexia for 15 years and thought that I would never recover. But Project HEAL gave me something that I didn’t have before. They gave me hope and confidence that I could be like them one day, that I could recover and make a difference in the world. Since receiving the treatment grant, I have been working tirelessly to recover so that one day I can help those struggling with eating disorders and depression. So thank you for believing in me. Thank you for fighting for me. Thank you for teaching me that I am worthy of recovery. And thank you to all the donors who have made my recovery possible.
Written by Sherrine
I am the mother of six wonderful children. They are my entire life and I know that it is miracle after miracle that I was blessed to have these children. I have struggled with an eating disorder for 30 years and have tried so many avenues to find peace and healing. When I found Project HEAL, my oldest (who has severe disabilities) was a young adult and my youngest had just been born. I was overwhelmed, to say the least, and knew that I could not go to inpatient therapy with a newborn and an 18 year old that both completely relied upon me to sustain their lives. I had just begun an outpatient therapy at a clinic that, for the first time, was making a difference in my life. But I could not afford to continue the therapy there. That is when I was introduced to Project HEAL. They gave me the opportunity to continue intensive outpatient therapy instead of inpatient, which allowed me the ability to continue to heal AND to be a much needed mom. I love Project HEAL. For the first time in 30 years, I was told that I can overcome this debilitating struggle that I have worked so hard to beat, but have not been able to on my own. It is so hard to leave my family and to care for myself and because of the grant that I have been allowed to have, I am able to make that step. It is challenging to change, but my eyes have been opened by kind and very understanding people. I have been able to see many pieces of me that have not been broken, but hindering my own life. I thank Project HEAL for giving me hope by listening to what I truly needed to recover. You are wonderful for providing hope to so many others just like me. Thank you, Project HEAL.
Written by Julia
In April 2016, I was facing a total lack of funds to continue at the outpatient level and insurance was denying coverage. After just having discharged unexpectedly from treatment at the end of February, the thought of not having a team was very frightening. I found Project HEAL in a desperate search for some sort of help and decided to apply even though I thought the chances of being selected were slim. I got a call from Liana in May informing me that I had been selected for a year of outpatient. I was truly shocked that someone actually believed in me that much. Because of Project HEAL, I was able to see a team of specialists and continue down this journey. Words cannot describe how thankful I am for Project HEAL and I thank God for allowing me to find them and then be chosen. The path has definitely been a challenge, but I’ve heard it said “the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory.” I would not be where I was today without Liana, Kristina and Project HEAL’s support. Thank you for seeing me and believing in me!
Written by Kiernan
I was on state-funded insurance when I contacted Project Heal. I had wanted and needed treatment for years but did not have access to any level of care. The day I heard that I was a treatment grant recipient, I thought was the best day of my life. It was certainly the most relieved Ive been in a while. But I wrong. Having access to residential treatment and partial hospitalization because of Project Heal was just the beginning to the best days in my life. Liana, Kristina and Arwen did not stop there. They made sure I was able to stay in treatment, even with outside financial obligations. They followed up with my team and with me the whole time I was in treatment and after I returned home. Project Heal cared beyond just awarding a treatment grant. They care about me as a whole person and believe in me when I have a hard time believing in myself. Project Heal has absolutely provided the framework for me to change my life, and in doing so, they have changed my life. I am forever grateful.
Written by Hanna
The harsh beeping of medical equipment pulled us out of bed at 6am as the nurse came into the room to take our vitals. We slipped off our pajamas sliding into the blue medical gown to get weighed. After meals, the nurses would flush the toilets for us to make sure food stayed in our bodies. All our mail was searched, and my Packers Blanket and picture frames were confiscated, in fear they would harm me, or another patient. Going for a run, my go-to way of coping, was banned. I was left with no other option but to give myself over to imprisonment. The inpatient treatment facility for Anorexia Nervosa was my new home. I kept trying to convince myself that I was in a bad dream. Not just a bad dream, a nightmare. Just two weeks earlier I had gone to bed in Northern Ireland. Now, I woke up to find myself in a treatment facility for Anorexia Nervosa.
My organs were deteriorating, hair wouldn’t grow and my body looked like a skeleton. I was losing my life to a medical diagnosis I didn’t admit I had. Anorexia had taken over my body so much that I couldn’t gain stable weight for a month. A five minute walk could send me back into malnourished, or worse—into the intensive care unit. Any trace of Hanna in the mirror was gone.
In April, I finally reached a turning point. By the grace of God, I was awarded a treatment grant from Project Heal, an organization that pays for treatment for women recovering eating disorders that can’t afford it. Thanks to Project Heal, and all of the love and support from family and friends, Anorexia is becoming less and less of my identity. Hanna is starting to be resurrected piece by piece. Instead of seeing a dietician every week, I am healthy enough to see her every three weeks. Instead of walking for 30 minutes 5 times a week, I am now ABLE TO RUN THREE TIMES A WEEK. Back in treatment, I never thought I would run again. I was told I would never run again. Despite all the odds, I was wrong. I also believed my dreams would never happen. I believed with my heart of hearts that because of Anorexia, I was incapable of achieving my dreams. I believed I would work part time in retail forever, and never become the woman I thought I could be. Until last week. Last week marked another turning point. I received a letter from the University of Bradford in the UK, accepting my application to obtain a Masters in Conflict Resolution this coming September. Since I studied abroad in Ireland in 2011, I have dreamed of getting my Masters at a European Institution. This Masters, will equip me with the tools necessary to be an advocate for peace in Northern Ireland, and around the world.That dream would never have been possible, without Project Heal.
My dreams are still possible, and are within reach. Anorexia didn’t claim my life, my health, or my dreams. Anorexia is only going to be a chapter in my life, not the entire book.
Written by Hannah
Project Heal saved my life. After struggling with my eating disorder mostly on my own for 10 years, I got to the point where my life and my eating disorder could not coexist. I began to explore my treatment options and quickly found out that they were scarce. I started out in an outpatient program for adults with anxiety and depression. Although anxiety and depression were very intertwined in my eating disorder, I left group everyday with my disordered eating behaviors unscathed and toxic thoughts about my body and food polluting my mind. After about a week I dropped out feeling even worse than I did when I began. I applied for a treatment grant, thinking that this would be my last shot at treatment. Receiving the grant sparked hope back into my soul and brought with it an emotional cocktail of excitement, anxiety and fear. How was I going to leave something behind that I felt was so ingrained in who I was? How was I going to let go of that control that I felt was keeping me safe for so long? Project Heal gave me a chance to search and find answers to those questions. An opportunity to pursue a life that was not dominated by shame and fear, to see beyond the pain that I unsuccessfully tried to starve away, and a belief that full recovery is possible. All of that and Project Heal’s support didn’t stop at the treatment grant. Since beginning my recovery journey Project Heal has stood by me, supported me, and encouraged me in my recovery. I am forever grateful for Project Heal and all the ways they have supported, encouraged, and empowered me to live authentically and pursue radical self-love.