Some people light up the world with their warmth. Jennifer Ann McLamb Whitaker was one of those rare people.
Years ago, Jennifer triumphed over anorexia nervosa. Exhibiting courage and determination, her mother, Rita Robbins, found her the treatment that she needed in New York that saved her life. That same courage and determination was the impetus for the establishment of the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders. Rita vowed that no other North Carolina family would ever have to endure the anguish that she underwent in finding treatment for an eating disorder. She wanted the people of North Carolina to be treated at home, close to home and family. Without Rita’s passion and compassion, the North Carolina State Legislature and the UNC Department of Psychiatry, then led expertly by Bob Golden, would never have partnered to make her vision a reality. You can read the full story about Jennifer and Rita’s journey and the founding of our center here.
As much as suffering can ever have meaning, Jennifer’s battles with anorexia saved and improved the lives of hundreds of people who have been helped by our center.
Jennifer was proof that recovery can occur, even after seven years of anorexia, which she described as her worst enemy. She thrived, began a career of service to others as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, married, and became the clinical director of Behavioral Healthcare in Hickory, NC.
After being diagnosed and treated for a rare sarcoma years ago, Jennifer told me that cancer treatment was nothing in comparison to the agony of overcoming anorexia. Yet ultimately her worst enemy was the sarcoma, which took from the world far too soon a radiant and loving woman who made the world a gentler place.
Jennifer’s memory will forever be woven into the fabric of our center.
Please see more on Jennifer’s life here.
Jennifer’s family has requested donations to:
The Paula Takacs Foundation for Sarcoma Research
P.O. Box 78416 Charlotte, NC 28271, online at http://paulatakacsfoundation.org/ – See more at: http://www.bass-smithfuneralhome.com/obituary/Jennifer-Ann-McLamb-Whitaker/Hickory-NC/1533604#sthash.WBydctYF.dpuf