My name is Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh. After my daughter recovered from life-threatening anorexia nervosa in 2002, I devoted myself to improving public understanding, treatment, and support for families. My book, "Eating With Your Anorexic" is my hopeful plea for better science and an end to blaming families and blaming patients for a treatable brain disorder. In 2004, I founded an online forum now called "Around the Dinner Table," an international meeting place for parents.
To address the lack of good support and information for parents and caregivers, I and other parents created F.E.A.S.T. (Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders) in early 2008. I served as Executive Director and then Policy Director until April of 2014.
In 2013, I became part of a project called Charlotte's Helix, an exciting crowd-funding initiative to add 1-4,000 DNA samples from the UK to the international AN25K challenge. Toward that effort, I gave away my 52nd birthday to my dear friend, Charlotte Bevan, whose advocacy for parents inspires me daily.
In March 2014 I received the AED Meehan/Hartley Award for Public Service and Advocacy and retired from full-time advocacy to return to writing full time.