WATCH ABOVE: A California woman has sought the help of thousands to finally conquer her battle with anorexia once and for all. John Hadden reports.
TORONTO – 37-year-old Rachael Farrokh was once a beautiful actress but her ongoing battle with an extreme case of Anorexia Nervosa has left her nearly dead and desperate for help.
The San Clemente, CA native has been suffering for years and now claims to weigh just 40 lbs.
Along with her husband, 41-year-old Rod Edmonson, the couple began to search for medical assistance but were told that only a facility in Denver was prepared to handle a case of Rachael’s magnitude.
The only problem – the couple couldn’t afford treatment. Rod had previously given up his job to care for his wife 24 hours per day.
The desperate couple turned to social media and crowdfunding for help.
“I need your help,” she said in a YouTube video. “I’m suffering from an eating disorder and it’s a very severe kind of anorexia.”
“My lovely wife and I have been together for more than a decade and she will be seeing her final days if we don’t take action!” Edmondson wrote on a GoFundMe page. “The funding will help cover medical bills and overall treatment. Time is of the essence and I don’t want to lose the most important person in my life.”
The approach worked. Rachael’s video quickly went viral and is approaching 3-million views, at the time of this writing, while the GoFundMe page has been overwhelmed with thousands of donations – nearly doubling the stated goal of $100,000.
But Rachael still has a long road ahead – and it’s not as simple as just eating a slice of pizza and feeling better.
“Anorexia isn’t really about food,” says an explanation on the Mayo Clinic’s website. “It’s an unhealthy way to try to cope with emotional problems. When you have anorexia, you often equate thinness with self-worth.”
Rachael and her husband are also using their viral fame to send out a strong message and raise awareness about the eating disorder.
“The reality is people are hurting so much that they’re trying to make themselves disappear, and if we ignore it we let them,” Edmonson added.