Marywood Field Hockey Brings Awareness to Eating Disorders


The Marywood Field Hockey team has brought awareness to a cause that is often swept under the rug: eating disorders.

According to the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), 28.8 million Americans are affected by eating disorders in their lifetime.

Since around mid-august, the Marywood University field hockey (MUFA) team raised money for NEDA through monetary donations and a presale of t-shirts. The team raised over $300 on the t-shirt sales alone.

According to its website, NEDA is one of the largest nonprofit organizations in America. The group is dedicated to bringing awareness to eating disorders. NEDA’s mission is to support individuals and families affected by eating disorders.

Milana “Lany” Straub, a second year accounting major as well as a three-sport athlete, is one of the primary advocates for the team’s efforts as well as the creator of the Belief In Balanced Being, a Marywood club that focuses on eating disorders.

“People are unaware of how often eating disorders occur, especially in college athletes,” said Straub.

Straub has dealt with her own battle with eating disorders. This was one of the reasons that Straub began the Belief In Balanced Being Club.

“I was pulled in and out of school, on and off from teams due to illness,” Straub said. “I got good treatment and a good response, because I was visibly sick.”

While Straub’s disorder was visible, which led to her receiving help, for those with eating disorders that aren’t as visible, they often go undetected.

“I think it’s a good thing to have on campus, just to keep on everyone’s radar,” said Straub. “We try to change the attitude around bodies and body comments.”

Senior Klaira Bievenour, like many others bringing awareness to eating disorders, recognizes the importance of shining a light on this issue.

“We find meaning in bringing attention to the damage an eating disorder can cause to a man or woman in college athletics, but also the damage it can cause to any college student,” Bievenour said. “Lowering the amount of stigma or judgment around eating disorders will lead to more of those being affected to get the help they need.”

Marywood field hockey is hosting its NEDA awareness game on Saturday September 24th, and coach Julie Trott acknowledges why this cause is important to her team.

“The NEDA Awareness game is near and dear to our hearts as a field hockey program,” said Trott. “We want to raise awareness and show support for our student-athletes, and everyone, battling any form of eating disorder.”

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