February 18, 2010
10-034

Kate Elliot
Communications Specialist

Speaker to Address Eating Disorder Awareness Month

VALDOSTA -- Master storyteller Matthew Schmoker, who nearly died from complications of anorexia, will share his inspirational journey at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, in the Student Union Theater.

The Office of Health Promotions is bringing the “The 36-Hour Miracle” presentation to campus during National Eating Disorder Awareness Month in hopes of empowering young people to transform adversity into opportunity. The energetic personality has shared his story with more than 1.2 million young people during the last 14 years -- urging students to break free from the gripping chains of addiction to live hopeful lives of peace.

“Losing 145 pounds in less than nine months, suffering two near heart failures, exercising over six hours each day, abusing 18 laxatives daily, and surviving on nothing more than a gallon of juice and four rice-cakes as his everyday meal, Matthew's life nearly became another teenage fatality of eating disorders,” according to the Legacy Motivations Web site, which Schmoker developed to share his story. “With 12 years of successful recovery, Matthew has transformed his former life of pain and misery into a renewed life of fulfillment. His remarkable and universal story raises awareness, inspires and instills hope to eating disorder victims and their families.”

Those unable to attend the talk may watch Schmoker’s message on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=FudtHlx3ypE .

Other Health Promotions Programs

VSU’s Health Promotions is committed to providing prevention education, such as “The 36-Hour Miracle,” to inform students of various dangers and encourage them to make safe, healthy choices. Health Educator Holly Wright said the office holds campus-wide programming about a variety of topics, including sexual assault awareness, suicide prevention, eating disorders/body image issues, tobacco cessation and stress management.

“The first Wednesday of every month is Wellness Wednesday, and we have an informational booth focusing on a wellness topic from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Student Union,” Wright said. “The information we have is accessible to all students at anytime, and we are eager to work with student organizations or residence halls to provide educational programming to as many students as possible.”

In addition to routine educational programs, the office, located in Centennial Hall, sponsors free, year-round Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) classes for faculty, staff, students and alumni to learn proven prevention and self-defense tactics. The classes, taught by certified R.A.D. instructors, are suitable for women or all ages and abilities. Enroll online at http://www.valdosta.edu/studentaffairs/healthpromotions/forms/radsignup.php or call Health Promotions at 229-245-3896.
Spring R.A.D. Classes:

March 23, 25, 30, Apr. 1 (TR 4 day class) 6-9 pm

April 6, 8, 13, 15 (TR 4 day class) 6-9 pm

For more information about Health Promotions or to schedule programming for a class or campus organization, go to www.valdosta.edu/studentaffairs/healthpromotions/index.shtml .