Deanna’s story begins in her junior year of high school, when she began struggling with her body image, depression, and overall feelings of inadequacy. Not knowing how to process these negative emotions, Deanna turned to food in an attempt to cope and eventually developed an eating disorder. What she tried to play off as “just a diet” eventually consumed her entire life. When she went away to college, her life became a cycle of restricting, bingeing, self-harming, and not sleeping. She reached a point where she couldn’t see past the darkness and attempted suicide.
After returning to treatment, she learned to challenge her negative thoughts and find healthier ways to cope. Once she discovered that the thoughts and feelings that led her down that path were not as uncommon as she thought, she was inspired to speak out about her experiences in the hope of showing students they are not alone and that help is out there. Deanna became involved with the National Eating Disorders Association, for which she has raised over $10,000 towards eating disorder prevention, treatment, and education. She also serves on the executive board of the Drexel University chapter of Active Minds, empowering other students to speak about mental health.
Deanna is based in Philadelphia, PA. Speaking engagements beyond 120 miles may require a fee for travel expenses.
Read what organizations have to say about Deanna:
“Deanna was really adaptive and responsive to our needs. She had her presentation but was not afraid to divert from it and hit the other aspects of mental health that were really applicable to our student population.” New York Hall of Science (NY)
“Deanna was so wonderful! She held the boy’s attention and gave them valuable tips without overwhelming them. She was one of the best speakers I’ve heard.” Malvern Prep (PA)