There was a package to collect at the post office. Curiosity mounted as the postmaster handed a small, well-padded package over the counter. The sender’s address: UNC Center of Excellence of Eating Disorders. I got as far as my car before excitement got too much – I opened the package and … released a beautiful chocolate fish!
The tale (tail) of this fish is truly remarkable. That this Very Special Fish has travelled more than 10,000 miles, across the Pacific Ocean, from North Carolina to Victoria, Australia, and arrived unscathed, in perfect chocolate-condition, is remarkable enough. But the story it carries is far more remarkable. This little fish represents a research mission that is making waves around the globe. This research mission is to find a cure for Anorexia Nervosa. I understand this is the first time such a fish has departed the USA and I feel deeply honoured to be the recipient, on behalf of eating disorder sufferers everywhere. I will cherish it always. My grand children kindly understand and respect that this is one chocolate treat they must not eat.
Professor Cynthia Bulik, thank you! The inspirational, indomitable, Prof. Bulik explains in a recent post:
“Typically the Order of the Chocolate Fish goes to the team member of the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders who has gone above and beyond the call of duty working toward our mission. This month, for the first time, we go not only beyond our program walls, but also across a large body of water to bestow the Order of the Chocolate Fish on writer, blogger, advocate, and friend, June Alexander. My intention had been to give June her fish at the ICED meeting in New York, but a brief stay on my part and around 1300 attendees made it harder than ever to catch up with friends and colleagues. So the fish will just have to swim airmail to Australia!
“June has been an enthusiastic supporter of ANGI and Charlotte’s Helix. Her own enthusiastic participation launched our Australian site and her blog entries, interviews, and personal story have done so much to explain why genetic research in anorexia nervosa is so critically important. And she does it so much more effectively than we as scientists ever could. June is a champion of science and does whatever she can to help us do what we have to do to figure out what makes anorexia nervosa tick. She is a critical member of the ANGI team! In recognition of her dedication, energy, positivity, and contribution to science, it is my distinct pleasure to induct June Alexander into the Order of the Chocolate Fish. Congratulations June!”
To Prof Bulik and your amazing research team: the pretty Chocolate Fish is the most meaningful award I have received. Thank you.