The emotional documentary, “Someday Melissa: the story of an eating disorder, loss and hope” was screened at JCC Metrowest in West Orange last Sunday October 16. The screening was presented by the Mental Health Association of Essex County, in association with Jewish Family Services of MetroWest and The Silverstrom Group.
The one-hour film tells the story of a daughter’s battle with an eating disorder, along with her mother’s love, dedication and effort to understand and deal with the disease. Ultimately, her mother turned grief into the commitment to educate others about the disorder.
On May 6, 2009, Judy Avrin’s 19-year-old daughter, Melissa, lost her life to an eating disorder. It was a five-year battle that wreaked havoc on Melissa’s self esteem, her academic success, her friendships and her family.
After Melissa’s death, Judy showed her journal to Livingston Psychotherapist and Eating Disorder specialist Danna Markson, LCSW. It was apparent in reading Melissa’s writings that there was a message of sadness, pain and hope that needed to be shared. Melissa’s poem, “Someday…” became the inspiration for the documentary, which Judy created along with producer Danna Markson and director Jeffrey Cobelli.
In addition to the documentary, Judy established Someday Melissa, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting recognition and awareness of eating disorders, as well as the understanding of the importance of early treatment.
The film was followed by a panel discussion with the film’s Executive Producers, Judy Avrin and Danna Markson, as well as Sandra Tryznowski, MHAEC Clinician and eating disorder survivor. The panel was moderated by Robert Davison, Executive Producer of the Mental Health Association of Essex County.
A Question and Answer session followed the panel discussion. Audience members asked questions about the making of the film, about Judy's experience losing her daughter, and about eating disorders in general. The audience was moved by the compelling story and shared their own personal struggles as well as stories of hope.
For more information about the film or to host a screening, visit www.somedaymelissa.com