A Richland woman is taking big steps toward helping people struggling with eating disorders. In just a few short days, Rae Smith will hit the road, walking thousands of miles on a cross country journey to raise awareness for a cause very close to her heart.
"I have my hiking pack, which has my one man tent, my mummy bag, and just everything to live in it," said Rae. She is packing light, because everything she takes she will need to carry for 2,613 miles from Philadelphia to the Tri-Cities.
"I have a couple of friends who will fly out for a couple of week at a time and do a small jaunt with me, but for most of the time I'll be by myself," she said.
At 28 miles a day, her journey will span about 92 days. But, that's a small amount of time compared to the 10 years she spent battling an eating disorder.
"We get chained to that scale, that number, and at one point I took a scale outside of my house and just smashed it with a hammer. I just wanted to be done with it. But the next day, I went out and bought a new one."
Rae says she is now free of her eating disorder demons and wants to pay it forward by helping others find their strength.
"I want to put myself out there and be that example of here's my story; if anyone wants to listen of share their experiences, I want to walk for you. Lets walk together and I want to help," she said.
Rae's goal is to raise $5,000 through her walk, with the proceeds going to the a non-profit called Eating Disorder Recovery Support.
To donate, visit Rae's web site: http://www.youcaring.com/other/rae-walks-across-america-for-eating-disorder-awareness/62318.
You can also keep up with her journey at her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/RaeWalksAcrossAmerica