DES MOINES, Iowa -- A local non - profit whose mission is to help those with eating disorders wants to expand its reach. The Eating Disorder Coalition of Iowa is celebrating its 10th year and has been a resource to many who are struggling or recovering like Tiffany Van Zante.
"My eating disorder started out as anorexia when I was in middle school. We had learned about eating disorders in our health class and several friends and I decided we should try some of those behaviors and it was purely innocent," she explains. Van Zante says that innocent behavior turned into a full - fledged eating disorder that took her a decade to recover from.
"It's almost like somebody or something living in your head and to overcome that I can’t even describe what that was like." She adds that disordered eating is often linked to other mental health illness like depression or anxiety.
The now mother of three, hopes to be a pillar of hope for others going through what she went though. Van Zante is the co - president of the EDCI. The organization serves as a resource to those living with a eating disorders and helps educate students in school about their severity. In an effort for EDCI to broaden its services statewide, it needs a little help. The coalition is volunteer based and would like to bring on a few full - time positions that could help better carry out its mission.
"It is very easy to get burnt out on all the things we want to do. It's very hard for us to do all the things we want to do. If we could have a home office and an administrative assistant to keep track of the all the details for us, so the people who are on the board can go out and share what we are doing and our mission, it would be huge," Van Zante says.
EDCI hopes to raise $30,000. A fundraiser is scheduled for Thursday August 29th at West End Salvage in Des Moines. The event starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $35.