Brave Sidmouth teen's anorexia battle

PUBLISHED: 18:00 17 June 2011 | UPDATED: 11:50 22 June 2011

Tilly Symonds, sixteen years old. Tilly will be sky diving for charity on July 3rd.  Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 3014-24-11AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Tilly Symonds, sixteen years old. Tilly will be sky diving for charity on July 3rd. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 3014-24-11AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

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Tilly, 16, will skydive for charity that got her back on track

A SIDMOUTH schoolgirl who beat anorexia will plummet 10,000 feet out of a plane to boost the charity that helped get her life back on track.

Brave Tilly Symonds, 16, won a five year battle with the debilitating eating disorder and now wants to take on a freefall parachute jump to help others. The teen celebrated finishing her GCSE exams today- despite missing a year of school while in hospital.

Tilly hopes her skydive next month will raise £700 for Beat, the UK’s leading charity for people with eating disorders and their families.

“Every day is a challenge, and sometimes it feels like it would be so much easier just to give up, but I remind myself how far I’ve come and how much better my life is now that I can actually live it, without the anorexia being in total control,” Tilly, a Colyton Grammar School student, told the Herald.

“I wouldn’t describe myself as totally recovered, as recovery is an extremely long and difficult journey, but I have made a lot of progress.

“Recovery from an eating disorder is the most difficult task. It’s taken me a long time and a lot of effort to get where I am now. The re-feeding process was painful and scary, but important to restore my health.”

Tilly is a young ambassador for Beat and hopes to help raise the charity’s profile in Devon. She says the cause helps save lives.

Tilly is excited and determined to use her experiences to help others, despite her increasing nerves as the July 3 skydive approaches.

“I want others who are struggling to know that recovery is worth all the time and effort you have to put in to the fight to get better,” she said.

Beat provides helplines for adults and young people, online support and a UK-wide network of self-help groups to aid those fighting an eating disorder.

Sponsor Tilly online at www.doitforcharity.com/tillysymonds.

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