Former Anorexic Teen Girls Fight Eating Disorders With Their Own Non-Profit


Do you remember what you were doing and thinking about at 15 years old? For most of us, it wasn’t anything to write home about, nor would it have been featured in Forbes magazine!

Yet, there are 2 girls whose incredible philanthropic efforts have seen them not only featured on, but also start an organization which is literally changing lives.

Liana Rosenman and Kristina Saffran met while both undergoing treatment in 2006 for anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders at the age of 15. After reaching full recovery by supporting and helping each other, they decided they want to help other young girls who are battling the same disease.

As their friendship deepened, they helped each other through challenging moments. “I’d call Liana in tears,” remembers Kristina. “She’d say, ‘You’ve come so far, and you have so much to live for.'” they told People Magazine in 2012.

In 2008 they launched a non profit organization called Project HEAL which stands for Help to Eat, Accept and Live. The organization raises money for those who need treatment but cannot afford it, and also promote self-esteem and healthy body images in order to prevent future eating disorders.

So far they have raised over $300 000 in funds, and today the 2 girls are both seniors at college. Now aged 21, They told’s Denise Restauri they believe eating disorders are one of the world’s most prevalent but ignored diseases, with approx 24 million Americans suffering from Anorexia and/or bulimia. Can you imagine what the worldwide statistic would be? In fact Anorexia is the mental illness that has the highest mortality rate. That’s a depressing thought, but we get goosebumps knowing there are girls like Liana and Kristina fighting to change this.

Back in December 2012 we got the chance to speak with Cami Julaine (who is now one of our contributors!) about her battle with eating disorders which started at the age of 8, and ended with a year-long stint in a treatment center during her senior year at high school.

It was a startling, detailed story which was emphasized by the fact there were a lot of people around her who just didn’t know enough about the diseases and treatment centers, as opposed to just going to hospital, are a crucial part of recovery.

liana-kristina-Project Heal

Project HEAL have ongoing events and fundraisers to help young men and women get the treatment they need, as they know getting help is just the start of the journey for sufferers of these diseases. There is no quick fix, but it takes commitment and perseverance to stay healthy. The two founders believe there are keys to making recovery a success.

“We believe in a life after eating disorders that is free from negative thoughts, poor body image and full of happiness, fulfillment, and even dessert.” they say, which also includes more awareness through the media.

The girls along with Project Heal want to be role models for positive body image.

“It is so important in life to find one’s passions and give back to a meaningful cause in some way. At this moment in time, it is more dire than ever to recognize eating disorders and their many unfortunate truths. They are serious, biological, life-threatening illnesses; with treatment, though, full recovery is possible.”

“Poor body image can contribute to the development, or prolongation, of an eating disorder — so learning to think positively in this way is not only a beautiful thing but also can make a huge difference.”

Today PH has 25 chapters across the United States, Canada and Japan, and this will continue to grow. They have had a lot of press coverage about their organization, and we certainly hope to do our part by sharing their story and raising awareness to our awesome readers about this issue.

How empowering to see two teen girls who struggled with something and turned it into a blessing not only for themselves, but for countless others around the world.


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