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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Asking for Help.

Dear Reader,
Thank you for visiting my blog. For the last couple months I’ve been trying to raise money for treatment for anorexia by selling baked goods. I’ve recently learned just how much treatment costs, and I’ve realized it will take me years to raise enough money by selling baked goods alone. Most programs cost $1000 or more per day (see costs here). I’m very humbly asking for help.
I’ve struggled with these disorders for 18 years. In the last year and a half it has become the worse it’s ever been. I am 5’8”, I weight 104 pounds with my clothes, shoes, and purse. I tried a partial hospitalization program (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program. I did not gain weight. I struggled with meal compliance. I struggled TREMENDOUSLY with guilt from the cost and the burden I was putting on my family.
I no longer feel like I have a choice over my behavior. I go to the gym for 3-4 hours a day. I restrict my calories, and purge sometimes. I eat a one head of cauliflower every day with hot sauce and a tablespoon of nuts. My heart rate is 37 bpm. My doctor tells me my body is eating my heart. It’s a slow suicide.
My PHP program (Opal) said the following,
“Opal's recommendation for Camilla is to seek residential care for her eating disorder including care from a dietitian, therapist, psychiatric provider, and medical provider. . . Residential care was recommended but declined by the client (due to financial stressors).”
*You can read more of what they said here
My physician wrote the following letter:

It’s embarrassing to admit all of this, but I want to be as open as I can be. I fear recovery, but I need  to get well for my family. I want to have a life. I miss having friends. I miss having time to do things other than exercise and obsess over food. My family members are making so many sacrifices to help me financially. I feel a tremendous amount of guilt. This is my attempt to help myself so the financial burden doesn’t fall on them.
I’m asking for your help. Any donation helps. I promise I will NOT squander this gift or this opportunity. And when I recover I plan to pay it forward and help another girl (or more!) on their recovery journey. So many women need help and can’t afford it.

Thank you so much for reading,

Love, Camilla
Click the "Donate" button below to donate on PayPal. If you're interested in contacting me regarding a large grant or donation, please write me at Camilla.Kuhns at ... and thank you!


  1. I don't know if you remember me at all (Hanne Poulsen). I went to JHS, but I think we were a year or two apart. I found your post through Mary and while I don't have spare funds at the moment, but would it be okay for me to share this post as well? I've had my own fair share of struggles (though not so severe) and even if one person I know decides to donate... anyway, I just thought I'd check first in case you didn't want this spread around.

    1. Yes, please share this with everyone! I appreciate the support so much more than I can even say, and I'm beyond pride at this point. I just need help. Thank you Hanne!

    2. Shared a few different places!

  2. Camilla-

    I have been following your posts on Facebook and wanted to tell you that I really admire your courage to share your struggle. I would love to help but unfortunately, I don't have much money right now since my husband is in law school. However, I would love to help you spread the word around. I can share this on Facebook and I also have a couple blogs where I can write posts to spread the word. Would that be okay? Is there anything particular you would like me to include?

  3. Hey sweetheart, I was just thinking about you and I was wondering if you have talked to your bishop about getting financial assistance for treatment? I am praying for you and hope you know how much God and Heavenly father love you!!!

    1. The Church shouldn't have to pay for this. Long before she even asks such a thing, her family should refinance their homes, sell extra cars, change their lifestyles in any way but this absolutely is not appropriate for the Church to pay for.

    2. Dad,
      You should not have to justify what you have done to help your daughter yourself before asking the church for help. Your church leaders and friends should be there to support you any way they can. YES your lovely daughter is very much worth saving. Your spiritual leaders should be walking this path with you, researching helpful programs, and if it is deterimined that finantial need is there, then yes, they should step up. It is not my place to say yes or no. Your leaders will have to answer for their stewardship. They should know the specifics. You should not have to explain it in a public forum.

    3. Just from reading above where it was mentioned that the church should not help pay... If the Church is willing to and able to contribute, there is never ANYTHING wrong with accepting that.
      I was admitted to the Center for Change in 2008. My family also started raising funds, turned their lives upside down to help me afford it, and also, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints helped with the funding for my recovery.
      I am thankful for every dollar that contributed to my recovery. It is very hard to recover from something so complex on your own.
      I admire Camilla for seeking help, because that was not something I did. I did not felt that I deserved the help or that my life could also mean that much. The fact is, that our lives DO matter.
      Camilla - I will pray for you and do what I can to donate to your recovery. If the church helps you pay for your recovery, then it is a BLESSING, NEVER a burden. Keep it strong girl! Recovery is ALWAYS the better option. My prayers to you and all of the girls at CFC. I think of that place often and with a warm heart.
      Go, Fight, Win!

    4. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, when I willingly give a donation, I am giving that money to the Lord for his servants to do with as they see fit. Our Father in Heaven loves your daughter, because she is His too. Don't feel ashamed if you need financial help. That is the purpose of our offerings. God bless you and your precious daughter!

    5. I am astonished by the comment from a church member that the church should not pay for your treatment. That is not for you, anonymous writer, to decide. As a former RS president, I have seen the church pay for members' rent, cell phone bills for teenage children, food orders because families spent their cash on new TV's etc. While I am not saying these were wrong, the fact is that there IS money available to help as as Bishop sees fit, and in my opinion, this is a very worthy cause. As a mental health counselor and church member, I have seen the church help pay for specialized mental health treatment many times and I support this. LDS Family Services does not have the expertise to treat this level of eating disorder. I wish you the best Camilla and applaud you for your continued efforts to get help! Also, to the family, I know what a huge financial burden providing for your daughter's treatment has been and still is. My heart goes out to you as well and don't think you need to explain your case to ANYONE... I wish judgmental people who don't know anything about this disorder would keep their judgments to themselves and not post that kind of opinion on the blog of someone trying their best to get help.

    6. Camilla's Dad here again. Yesterday I posted a VERY long blog in response to the Anonymous posting about how it's not appropriate for the Church to help fund Camilla's treatment. I went into a very long explanation ... and several people have told me I don't need to explain why we sought help.
      I appreciate that support, especially from the Relief Society president above. So, I've deleted my explanation.
      I do want to say this part of the original post, however, because I think it's still valid:
      Fortunately, I believe not only in a Church and a fellowship which is kind and compassionate, but also in a Church which is lead by inspiration from a loving Heavenly Father about what to do. If the leaders decide, through inspiration, that it is appropriate to help with Camilla's care, they will.
      I only hope, if an all-merciful Father in Heaven directs His servants to help my daughter -- as she has helped others -- that people won't judge that action, and that help, to be inappropriate.

    7. Does anyone know if we can go see her?

    8. Jeffree -

      At Center for Change, visits can be strict sometimes. It really depends on how she is doing with her recovery, and where she is at. Typically visits are limited to family members, and only a select amount (again, depending on progress)
      Random visits are not likely. If you are a good friend, stay in touch with her family, let them know to tell Camilla that you would like to visit her. They'll let you know if that gets approved.
      (from a former Center for Change resident)

  4. I'm praying that people step up and support! I don't think I could ever be as brave and humble as you're being asking for help like this. Payday is tomorrow for us and we will definitely spare what we can. I wish I could take care of it all. You deserve peace and healing.

    On another note, I love your tribute to your mom. She seems like an amazing woman with an amazing daughter.

    You're in my prayers and thoughts.


  5. Camilla,

    It has been nearly 15 years since I made a full recovery from my eating disorder. My heart knows what your's feels. You don't know me but I will be your cheerleader.


    Stephanie Taylor Smith

  6. I'm crying as I read this, I knew through FB it was serious but the wake up call tonight shocked me. I want you well Camilla and I'll help in whatever way I can. Please keep fighting until you win. Love and support surrounds you. Love, Bonnie

  7. Camilla, we don't directly know each other, but after reading the page by Jors, I couldn't help but open up. I too suffer from this self destructing disease. Did VERY well for a while, to the point I started to speak in conferences educating people on the seriousness of this disorder. Until that is, I slipped back. This continues to be a problem. Nothing the "Center for Change" or anyone could help with. There IS a program I know if in NY, that is free and very good. Your a beautiful girl, and I hope that things work out for the best! HUGS!

    1. So do you not recommend CFC? What are you trying to tell me here? What is the program in NY? is it specific to eating disorders? Thanks

    2. Camilla -
      Please don't give up on CFC just yet. Everyone recovers differently, remember that. And many people have recovered through different treatment centers. However, don't give up on where you are at just to fly across the country, especially given all of the donations coming your way to ensure your successful recovery!
      I'll admit, I'm slightly biased because I used to be at CFC. But not a day or a week goes by when I don't think back on that experience, and how much it changed my life and how grateful I am. I'm still in touch with many of the girls I met there, and we are still very close and there for each other.
      Don't give up yet! Don't look elsewhere until you've given it ALL you can! You can do this. :)

  8. Oh I'm so glad to find you again Camilla! I asked all our friends where you were and how to contact you but no one knew. I was thinking about you a few months ago, maybe I was thinking about girls' camp? You have been on my mind and in my prayers. I hope you have a great birthday. I know it has been years, but I still love you like we were 10 again. I'll try and help however I can.

    Kira Jensen Cohoe

  9. Hi Camilla, I came across your story on FB. We do not know eachother, but my wife and I went to JHS also. Your story really caught my attention, because my wife also struggles with an Eating Disorder. When we first needed to get her into an IP program we did not have insurance and it truly is awful how there is almost nothing available to someone without insurance to get treatment for an Eating Disorder. So my heart really goes out to you on taking the inititive to raise the money you need to get the proper help. Fortunately we ended up getting insurance and got her into a program in Denver, but it is without a doubt a long road to recovery. We did look into a couple research programs out of state that would pay for treatement and medication, my wife never qualified, because they typically want somebody who is either Annorexic or Bulemic and she is pretty even mix of both. If you like I can find out if she still has the info or get you in touch with her. There is also a grant fund called "Washtington Women in Need" (WWIN) I think we got around a 5k grant for them to help with therapy costs when we did not have insurance. Don't give up! You've already shown how you can turn a negative into a positive with what your doing right now, so keep fighting!


  10. Hello, We've never met and I don't have an Ed (I have a Bipolar), but in being in so many hospitals and treatments over the years I have learned one thing about ED. There is always a root cause, and I have yet to see anyone with an ED be long term successfully until they locate and deal with that root cause.
    I would really suggest that no matter what you can do in the end financially, that you work (with a therapist or on your own) in identifying that root, so that you can begin to lower ED's voice in your head.
    I will be praying for you and your recovery.

  11. Hi - my girlfriend has been anorexic most of her life. She went in-patient in Arizona twice, and she does outpatient here in Bellevue at the Moore Center - a wonderful organization that has a new in-patient program as well. You've probably heard of them from more than one person, but maybe they can help you along a little since they're local. My girlfriend battles daily with anorexia-bulimia, but she's strong and together we make it through the days. As a matter of fact, she actively speaks to students at the local high schools here in Pierce county, organized through the health programs. I'm sure she'd love to talk with you if you would like some direction, support, etc. And by the way, she too spends her nights in the kitchen making the most incredible food :) BTW - I'm a rabbi (liberal), so maybe I can offer you some assistance if that's up your alley. My services are always free; I don't believe soothing a soul should come with a price tag. Continue the good fight, wonderful woman :)

  12. Hi
    I want you to know you can do this! I struggled with anorexia for many years and I baked a lot...and gave it all away...I started crying when I read your letter. I know it will always be with me but I now have two precious little boys and I am so grateful I was able to recover and have them. You will get through this!!! Fight to live...don't let the anorexia win. I don't weigh myself anymore...if I go to the doctor's I don't look. You will learn how to manage it and you will enjoy food again. :-)

  13. Hi love,

    I'm a recovering anorexic, bulimic and also a blogger about my disorder.
    I will have my last day at The Moore Center (Mark you're right it's wonderful) this Friday after two months of PHP. I'm blessed to say it has worked for me and proud to say that I, like you, am paying for it all my self.
    I know where you're coming from and how far you have to go and know that you're not alone. Please try and be kind to yourself. Know that progress isn't always steady, but a step back isn't a set back, it's a chance to learn. I know it's so hard to have all your comforts and way of life taken from you and to feel naked, bare and vulnerable but that just means that the real you can come through.
    I'll pray for you and have posted your story on my blog.


  14. Hello!

    I'm a contributor for a health and wellness website for women and I'd love to share your story with our readers. Is there a good way to reach you for an interview? I can be reached at hanna [at]

    Best of luck--I'd really like to spread the word and send the message that treatment is necessary--and often difficult to access.

    Thank you for sharing your story!

  15. Keep strong Camilla! I first developed anorexia aged 16, with no apparent trigger or warning. I had every kind of treatment, all of which failed. Doctors, my family, and myself all began to give up hope that I would ever get better. But I did. 4 years on, through grit determination and courage, I am now fully recovered. I have learned to challenge my disordered thinking, to channel my need to achieve into healthy goals, and learn that life without anorexia has so many more rewards than my life before had. I'm not going to sugar coat my recovery- at times I struggled more than I ever thought imaginable. I cried and cried and nearly gave up so many times. But I made it. And you will too. So many people are looking out for you, and with time, you will learn to look out for you too. As hard as it is to believe, that nagging ED voice will get quieter and quieter, you just need to let it. Keep fighting, be proud of every tiny step you take, I'm rooting for you :) Love Amy xxx

  16. Camilla-

    I was so sad to hear your story and to see your struggle. What I did love to hear is that you are doing what you can to get better and get back to living life. The thing that stood out most to me was when you couldn't believe that you are worth $150,000. That broke my heart. You are worth way more than that. I hope during your journey and recovery you are able to come to know your true value and worth. I think every girl goes through times in their life where they don't feel very valuable, I know I did. And it wasn't until I was into my second year in college that I had my "ah ha" moment and I came to know with my whole heart and soul that I was worth a whole lot to my Heavenly Father. As I stood there at school and let the Spirit wash over me and affirm to me my personal worth, I was filled from head to toe with the most beautiful confirmation that God loved me more than anyone else and that He thinks I am worth a whole lot. It was that simple. I had to allow myself to feel my worth, really feel it. And once I did I never had to question it again. Sure there were days that I hated myself and I felt lonely and forgotten, but when I let the Spirit come back I felt the same good feelings all over again. You want so much to control your food, find a way to control your feelings about yourself. Turn that control inward. Tell yourself that you will no longer be a victim to yourself. You can do it!! And some day you can sit down with a young girl who is struggling with her self image and tell her, "Your beautiful, You're worth it, You're loved." Good luck and don't give up!!

  17. Hey Camilla! I heard about your story and I felt I was hearing my own story. I just got out of the Center for Change recently. I spent four months in there and it was the most difficult thing I have done. I dont say that to scare you but I want to say how much it has helped me. I am still struggling with it but it was definetly a big part of my recovery. There is hope and I havent lost it. I learned so much there and will remember it and do remember it especially when I am struggling. I know you can do this as impossible as it may seem but it is possible! One thing you can do that is very hard but that I know it got me to where I am today is to TRUST your treatment team! They know what they are doing!
    Be the change you wish to see in the world!!
    Keep the Faith Fight to the end!

  18. Hi Camilla,
    Looks like a lot of ideas here. I have struggled with a lot of anxiety and OCD so I feel empathy for you, eating disorders may be anxiety based. I know you don't need to find the root cause although that is well meaning advice if that were true hardly anyone could get over anything because we don't remember and may never know the root cause. For example, "knowing I'm insecure because my mother shamed me" just makes me feel worse, but when I think about the things I can do today, AND start doing them I feel better, keep building on what works and know you are going to get better because that's how life goes things don't stay the same, I sensed your concern about the comment about the Center for Change , when we're anxious we grasp for any hope, don't allow the fear of not getting better take over, I KNOW you will get better. I know the Center for Change will give you knowledge that can help YOU change your emotions and thought processess, you may not do it exactly how it is laid out but you will heal in your own way WITH their help and it can happen faster than you think, I would love to hear about your journey, with love Kristen

  19. I will share on Friday on my blog and on my media. Good luck to you sweetie, you have a lot of courage and can do it. You are such a great example.

  20. I watched your story on the news tonight. My heart broke for you as I watched how you see yourself, treat yourself and what you think about yourself. I know what this is like. I have struggled with eating disorders off and on for the last 15 years and I can feel your misery and despair. I'm working on recovery and am doing better. What has helped me is finding my relationship with my Heavenly Father. Knowing I'm a daughter of God and He loves me no matter what. His love for you is infinite. And He wants you to know of your infinite worth. Find your self-worth. You have so much to give in your life! Already you have inspired so many by your courage to take this huge leap of faith! You are proof that the tiniest flicker of hope can be all it takes to put the wheels in motion. Your strength is admirable and you will soon find out just how strong you are! You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice. I have found this to be very true. I hope that one day we can both say "I BEAT IT!" I know it is possible. Take care, my thoughts and prayers are with you on this journey.

  21. I saw your story on this morning, and I'm so sad for you. I battled an eating disorder for 14 years and am happily in recovery. I also have a blog where I bake sometimes, but I also write about some of recovery in hopes to help others who are struggling. I hope you are able to raise the money to be able to get help and start working on your way to recovery.
    You are beautiful, and you deserve all the happiness in the world. You are so young and have so much life ahead of you. Do not throw it away. I know those words don't have much behind them. I've been there. You feel like nothing bad will happen to you, and even if it does, you don't really care. Maybe while you're waiting to raise the money for inpatient care, you can find some words of comfort at my blog.
    Please come by and say hi. Would love to see you there! I will share your story with my social media.

  22. Hi Camilla... My name is Wendy and I have had an Ed for 30 years. Once you have it, it's a lifetime thing. BUT... It does not have me anymore. There is a way out. These are the things that helped me.
    Realizing that I had a bad HABIT of destructive thinking. I needed to change my thought patterns. So...
    #1 Counseling to identify my negative core beliefs AND
    a B.E.S.T practitioner to help remove them from where they are stored in my brain and body. (Yes they are stored and they can be removed and replaced)
    #2 Pray and ask Heavenly Father specifically PLEASE TEACH ME WHAT AM I DOING TO CAUSE THIS and tEACH ME HOW TO STOP DOING THOSE THINGS. He Will answer you and show you one thing at a time. Then you practice doing that one thing that He shows you until He shows you the next thing. Step by step He will lead you and teach you HOW to be free.
    #3 Ask Heavenly Father WHAT to pray for. I'm not sure why, but what we pray for matters more than we think.
    #4 Your destructive thoughts are lies and you believe them. You are stronger than your thoughts and you can change them.
    Identify one destructive thought at a time. When you have it, tell yourself it's a lie and out loud tell yourself what you WANT the truth to be about yourself. The trick is to catch yourself having those thoughts and doing something about it.
    I will always have to be on guard, but now when I feel out of control I know other positive ways to calm myself. I no longer blame myself or take responsibility for everyone else. An eating disorder is a way of running away from hard things and making you FALSELY feel like you are in control. It takes patience and courage and a lot of work, but you can learn to take positive control of your life. You are stronger than you think you are and you have a friend who Believes in You!!

  23. I hope you get the help you need, it looks and sounds like you are surrounded by love. I too feel alot like you. I eat only about 500 calories a day and exercise 3-4 hours a day, so i understand exactly what it feels like to be afraid to eat or stop exercising. I only hope my daughters dont follow in my eating disorder, its hard to hide it and explain why I dont eat much. Good luck and i truly hope you learn to love yourself and find peace from within.

  24. What courage you have! I just wanted to leave you a little comment to encourage you to continue with your courageous fight against your illness. You are a beautiful woman. I'm sure you feel powerless, but it looks like you are really making a difference to others with similar struggles. I'm sure you'll feel like you are trying to recover for many years to come, but don't give up, you can do this. Hang in there sweetie!

  25. We have never met, but I am proud of you and your strength is amazing. There is a saying that I have lived by, "The juice is worth the squeeze". Keep fighting and you will overcome.
    David D.

  26. Camilla - Keep strong and know that we support you.

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  28. I was also looking for help on addiction. I found an anorexia treatment programs center that really helped me out.

  29. This is so crazy to me that i came across your blog. I've known u since u were little. I am the same age as your older brother and we grew up together. My name is brianne chelius now romrell as i am married. I too have struggled with anorexia and have gone to both avalon hills and center for change numerous times as i feel they were the best fit for me! If u need anything please let me know u can either find me on fb or email me at If your fam is reading this i want to say hi and let me know if there is anything i can do to support u all. Camilla i will write u an email at the center soon. Just want u to know i get it and am here always! Love, Brianne

  30. Camilla- I just saw you on the news tonight and my heart skipped a beat. I am so happy to see you in recovery. You don't know me but I watched you for months as I trained members at PF in SLC. For the last year I felt so guilty for not trying to get to know you when I could see your pain. I had been praying for you ever since you left and am so glad you have come so far. You have such a wonderful heart and I know you will be strong enough to overcome this. I will pass this on to all our PF family and next time I will not look away. All my love! Tanya - PF Millcreek Manager

  31. Camilla, you are an inspiration to a lot of people. Do not listen to the nay Sayer's. Keep up the great work. you are great.

  32. Camilla,

    I just saw your story on KSL and simply want you to know that you are truly a beautiful young lady, not just physically but you have a beautiful spirit that radiates from you. Stay strong and don't give in to bad thoughts of yourself, in doing so, Satan will have won! I am truly an admirer of your determination...RAtkin

  33. Camilla, I just read an update on your progress after your in-patient treatment program. Just like thousands of others that have battled with this disorder and conquered it, you will always have the memory of its power over you and your life, but it is your choice to respond to or ignore its pleas to let it get back in control. I have always pictured it like this: in the grips of the disorder, it is like having a skeleton wrapped tightly around you, whispering in your ear, controlling your every move and thought. As you begin to struggle with it and work to reclaim your life, he is relegated to a puppet master whose ability to pull your strings still directs your path. As you emerge from your captivity he begins to shrink, his voice becoming less powerful. It has been many years since my 15 year battle with my own beast ended. While I have not been able to vanquish him completely from my life, he has been mitigated to an innocuous spot on a dusty shelf; he calls to me in a tiny voice, muttering lies and empty promises. Most days I pay him no attention and live a joy filled existence. Other days I consider his words and remember he is a deceiver and only offers me a life of misery and pain. Win your battle! Live your life! There is great beauty to be found in the world around you. Dream it! Seek it! Live it!

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