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I was not afforded the luxury of disappearing

by Kym Piekunka

Special Projects Coordinator

What an honor and exciting moment to join F.E.A.S.T.! As I moved towards starting, I found myself thinking back on the early days of my own recovery process after losing my sister Kacy.

15 years ago I sought any avenue to understand my own experience and was drawn to advocacy. Treatment was unfriendly to our family and it failed my sister so I didn’t trust many in the field. I just observed. Listened. Watched.

Eventually, I got involved. At my first EDC Advocacy Day and MOM’s March, I was not afforded the luxury of disappearing. I was provided a platform to share my experience and make the change I always hoped to see. These were the events where I was introduced to the F.E.A.S.T. Moms. I had no idea the profound role they would play in my recovery, my path, my passion. These moms saw that I had no place for support as a sibling so they invited me in. They spoke of their fears, struggles, wins, recovery, loss, and journeys as their children faced this horrendous illness. I felt less alone. They always directed me toward education, connections, and other ways to be involved. Over time, their support allowed me to untangle two decades of chaos. I was able to fully understand what Kacy suffered from, let go of the last bit of shame that I somehow failed my beautiful sister, and to heal some deep wounds that had developed with my own Mom as our family organized around Kacy’s bulimia.

F.E.A.S.T. MOMs were critical in my journey by showing me I had the right to experience the plethora of feelings that descended on me as a sibling. That I had the right to have an opinion. That I had the right to tell my story. That I had the right when she died to fall to my knees broken but then stand up and fight for other families. These moms helped me find my voice and strength.

Gratitude comes to mind as I come full circle to serve those who once served me. I am honored and thrilled to join F.E.A.S.T.!

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4 Comments

  1. Daryl Madill

    Welcoming you to the FEAST fold Kym, and looking forward to the energy, expertise, and insight you’ll bring to help families, in particular, your support of siblings.

  2. J Piekunka

    Incredibly proud of you! You are indeed a “force” in this world and God has picked a very special young woman to enlighten the world on the inner sanctum of being a sibling with this horrific disease. Kym, I just watched the your FEAST interview and YOU did indeed lighten up that screen with your insight, passion, intelligence, poise, full of heart, in expressing your experiences and the compassion in your responses. You have found your niche in life and it exudes on screen that you are indeed a very important part in educating and guiding a/the family’s survival, growth, and understanding as a working unit. God Bless dear one……..May you be a wonderful answer to many in need…

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