A math teacher from Milton, Wisconsin, is using his role to teach other children about early signs and dangers associated with eating disorders after he lost his daughter to anorexia. Experts with the National Eating Disorders Association estimate that approximately 10 million men and 20 million women will battle eating disorder at some point in their life. The last week of February is regarded as the National Eating Disorder Awareness week.
Milton High School’s Michael Dorn is more comfortable around mathematics, but took the opportunity on Monday, February 27th, to talk to freshman students about eating disorders and how to identify early signs.
“Eating disorders are real. They are something that can be recovered from but they are also dangerous and not something to be taken lightly”, he said.
Even though his expertise does not revolve around health, talking about eating disorders with his students touched a soft spot, after explaining to the freshmen how anorexia claimed his daughter’s life. Even more so, as Maria was a freshman, as well, when she lost her battle with the illness. Michael Dorn said he wanted to teach his students about the dangers of eating disorders so that they can help others, in turn, when the need arises.
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders health experts say that approximately 11 percent of all U.S. high school students are diagnosed with some form of eating disorder. More worrying in the fact that three percent of the total cases do not receive proper medical attention, even though they display severe symptoms, they added.
Dorn went on to say that students oftentimes believe eating disorders are fictional and do not necessarily manifest in real life. This is exactly why he took it upon himself to sacrifice his usual math class in order to talk to them about early signs that could signal the onset of the disease even in their closest friends, he said.
After their daughter’s death, Alita and Michael Dorn set up an organization in her name, called “Project Maria”. On march 3rd, the couple will host an event in order to raise awareness about eating disorders at 2233 Humes Road in Janesville, at Festival Foods. The attendees will make affirming greeting cards that will later be delivered to local treatment facilities.
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