For a beautiful young woman named Kelly Burk Nobbe, life was promising. She graduated college, married her high school sweetheart, and was always looking for an adventure.
“My niece is Kelly. Kelly was taken from us several years ago, about nine years ago, because of anorexia,” Patti Geolat said.
Kelly was just one of 8,000,000 Americans who struggle with an eating disorder, which is a mental health disorder. "We were aware she had an eating disorder, but we had no idea how severe it was. We were aware she had anorexia, but we had no idea and the high rate of mortality,” she said.
Someone dies every 62 minutes from an eating disorder, and Geolat has launched a special jewelry line called 'Something for Kelly' to bring awareness to the disease that claimed her niece's life.
“When Kelly was alive, we always wanted to do something for her, but we didn't really know how much we could ask her about her disease," she said.
The line of jewelry is for every person affected in any way by an eating disorder, and a portion of proceeds go toward research to learn more about the disease. “Whether they themselves are struggling with it; they are on the journey. Whether they have successfully conquered the beast, whether they are a just friend and support the cause, and then, for somebody in my family's position, who has actually buried somebody,” Geolat said.
Much like the pink ribbon and breast cancer, Kelly's aunt hopes her design will become a recognizable symbol of hope in the eating disorder community. "We want people to be able to go into an elevator or an airport and see someone else wearing that piece of jewelry and know instantly that there is a connection, and they are part of a community of people who support and advocate and educate for people with eating disorders," she said.
To honor Kelly and support those struggling and affected by eating disorders, visit somethingforkelly.org. There, you will find each of the jewelry designs and you can learn more about each piece.