Anorexia Kills Crozet Teenager

By: Venton Blandin
By: Venton Blandin

October 16, 2006

Many of the eating concerning kids these days is about childhood obesity, but there are still numerous children battling eating disorders like anorexia. One Crozet woman knows this all too well, after losing her daughter to this disease.

"It is the most horrible illness I ever had to deal with in my entire life," said Marie Jarvis whose daughter died from anorexia just over a week ago.

Marie Jarvis feels anorexia is a horrible disease because it made her daughter a statistic.

"It was almost as if it was an overnight thing. She just started suffering severely with her stomach in the beginning," said Jarvis.

Jarvis' 19-year-old daughter Kristy died just over a week ago. She became one the 10% of anorexics who die within the first 10 years of fighting the disease. The former student of Western Albemarle High School fought the best way she knew how.

"It was just for six years that she's lived on nothing, but lettuce and rice cakes. That's all she would eat for six whole years," said Jarvis.

The majority of those years found Kristy Jarvis in and out of a hospital. Kristy did admit to her mom she was dealing with anorexia, but by that time the whole family was sharing her pain.

"I don't think there has been a day in the whole six years that I haven't cried. I would go in the bathroom just to cry, and I would see the torture on her face," added Jarvis.

A teenager who went to school with Kristy believes the torture is there for a lot of reasons.

"I think a lot of girls now are pressured by so much. Not only school, but sports, other activities, [and] their parents. They are finding that [an eating disorder] somehow provides some sort of control for them," said Western Albemarle High School Student Sasha Simpson.

The Jarvis family is very thankful during this time for Doctor Beth Swicer. Dr. Swicer was Kristy's doctor for several years, but recently moved away to Connecticut.

Dr. Swicer's returned to Charlottesville Kristy's funeral.

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