Rachael Farrokh was near death earlier this year when she made a desperate plea for help.
The California woman suffers from anorexia, a devastating eating disorder that caused her to starve herself down to just 40 pounds. She was near death when she started a GoFundMe campaign in May as a last-ditch effort to get treatment.
The campaign eventually raised $200,000, allowing her to seek treatment first at a hospital in San Diego, then at a specialized treatment center in Portugal, where she’s currently living.
Farrokh is taking to the treatment well and she’s noticeably gained weight.
“I’m excited about life, because what was a glimmer of hope 3 months ago has turned into a certainty to live,” she wrote on Facebook. “I regained the clarity and strength of my mind.”
She’s also walking several times a day to help her build leg muscle to restore her balance. Her doctor said her mental health recovery has been good and she’s feeling hopeful, thanks to a rescue cat keeping her company.
“I was finally treated with respect,” Farrokh told NBC Southern California. “I didn’t know that I deserved it.”
She’s in good enough health now that her doctor allowed her to travel to Washington, D.C. to attend the second annual March Against ED, an event designed to lobby the government to support legislation that would help train educators and health care professionals on eating disorders, along with clarifying laws around ED.
Best of all, she now has the realization that she has “so many people backing me now and I have a platform to actually create this awareness so to sit on the sidelines is impossible for me.”