by Lisa Burns
Greetings FEAST family from The Beautiful Okanagan, Vernon BC Canada. Here’s a little peek at the beach of gorgeous Lake Okanagan where we live and our sweet resident whitetail deer. Don’t you want to complete the picture with the top of a heart?!
For those of you whom I may have not have had the opportunity of getting to know, I’m Lisa. I am a member of the Board of Directors, Executive committee, your Treasurer & Bookkeeper, Chair of the Finance Committee, Canadian Rep for the Global Task Force. I enjoy time participating as a member of our formidable Parent Support Line, being a team member on our Fundraising Committee, CRM planning and Social Media planning group. PHEW! Perhaps being Gemini (I share my birthday with World Eating Disorders Day of Action) facilitates my ability to be in many places at one time! Being bored is not my forte!
You see, I thought FEAST was one of those BIG HUGE organizations that wouldn’t need or have use of “just a mom from a little rural community”. When I finally had some time to breathe, and once I was able to no longer be a caretaker for our daughter 24/7, I “found” eating disorder advocacy! This path led me smack dab to FEAST (and I was sad for a long time that I hadn’t found you all sooner).
I believe I knew FEAST was there or here, however you choose to see it. What I didn’t know was how much of a true treasure trove of all things eating disorders that I was missing out on! What I didn’t know was that my voice would be welcome. What I didn’t know was that being a part of this community would have been an early game-changer for our family!
Evidence-based education about eating disorders is a passion for me. If it took me until 2014 to find FEAST and then 2018 before knowing that FEAST absolutely wanted me and others like me, something had to change! As I did in Ontario, prior to moving to BC in November 2017, I have immersed myself in the eating disorder community here in my region. This immersion has opened up a place for “Just a Mom” to join working groups and planning committees within our health authorities; important work, helping to create a C-Care model for eating disorders and substance use, participating with other Canadian organizations to develop a Canadian Eating Disorder Strategy nationally, and a BC Provincial Mental Health survey. I owe the ability to present myself as an ‘Expert by Experience’ representing the parent voice – because of FEAST!
My dream is that every single time a family member is diagnosed, their carers will be handed a prescription to JOIN the FEAST mailing list! That a family GP will say to a scared parent, “this is where you NEED to be” “they will help YOU” and until then, there is work to do, enough for all of us!
Believe or not, I have a life outside of all of the above.
Warm days will find my hubby Robert and I out in our little speedy Bat-mobile wanna be!
Or taking in the glorious views from the Rise Golf Club
I look forward to getting to know you all better!