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A Space for Siblings

Connection . Support . Community

A Space for Siblings

Connection . Support . Community

Welcome to Kym Advocates

I believe all family members impacted by an eating disorder must have the tools and hope to come away from this illness healthy and whole.

As a lived-experience professional, I’m passionate to provide siblings who have a brother or sister with an eating disorder the acknowledgment, connection, and resources they have never been afforded.  To highlight this need, I have collaborated alongside clinicians, researchers, and organizations for over a decade.

In 2018 I co-created a sibling needs survey that has reached over 500 siblings around the world. The survey has continued to bring the sibling experience to light. That same year KymAdvocates.com was created to allow a space for siblings to share their experiences, stories, and perspectives. Along with these incredible interviews I’ve had the privilege to educate and support hundreds of siblings and parents which has led to the Sibling Support Series. This series offers the community, peer support, and strategies designed especially for siblings!

Kym currently serves as a Community Advisor for Equip and Co-Chair for the Academy for Eating Disorders Expert by Experience Committee.

UPCOMING WORKSHOP

A 5-week support group series was created to build community, support, and education for siblings who have a brother or sister with an eating disorder. 

  • Do you want to connect with other siblings?
  • Do you need education, resources, and tools but don’t know where to look?
  • Do you ever wonder how to help your sister or brother?
  • Or maybe you just feel overwhelmed and alone?

The Sibling Support Series was developed for this very reason!

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LEARN MORE & REGISTER

UPCOMING WORKSHOP

A 5-week support group series was created to build community, support, and education for siblings who have a brother or sister with an eating disorder. 

  • Do you want to connect with other siblings?
  • Do you need education, resources, and tools but don’t know where to look?
  • Do you ever wonder how to help your sister or brother?
  • Or maybe you just feel overwhelmed and alone?

The Sibling Support Series was developed for this very reason!

LEARN MORE & REGISTER

I’m often asked why I advocate for siblings

The answer is, I am one.

Like so many, it all began with a painful journey. My sister Kacy suffered from Bulimia Nervosa and co-occurring mental illnesses for over 15-years. Despite my reports of eating disorder behaviors and alcohol use, everyone believed Kacy was simply rebelling. No one suspected an eating disorder because my sister was in a bigger body.

I felt alone and isolated as Kacy’s personality changed, her behaviors became frightening, and I went to school acting like everything was fine. I was clinically depressed by high school, enmeshed, codependent, and sitting in enormous guilt for not being able to help her. I was grieving a sister who was once my best friend.  Kacy died when I was 32 years old. The pain was overwhelming, yet I fought to find my own healing and have found my passion to help other siblings!

Eating Disorders | A Sibling’s Perspective

I’m often asked why I advocate for siblings

The answer is, I am one.

Like so many, it all began with a painful journey. My sister Kacy suffered from Bulimia Nervosa and co-occurring mental illnesses for over 15-years. Despite my reports of eating disorder behaviors and alcohol use, everyone believed Kacy was simply rebelling. No one suspected an eating disorder because my sister was in a bigger body.

I felt alone and isolated as Kacy’s personality changed, her behaviors became frightening, and I went to school acting like everything was fine. I was clinically depressed by high school, enmeshed, codependent, and sitting in enormous guilt for not being able to help her. I was grieving a sister who was once my best friend.  Kacy died when I was 32 years old. The pain was overwhelming, yet I fought to find my own healing and have found my passion to help other siblings!

Eating Disorders | A Sibling’s Perspective

Interviews from Siblings Like You

“I did not want to hear the parent’s version, not what the therapist recommended and not an article on what I was supposed to say or feel. I wanted to hear from another sibling.” -Kym

For over a decade I would search for a story that sounded like mine. I wanted to know I was not alone. But I never found those voices. Sisters and brothers have unique experiences. We can learn and grow from one another but we have never had the bridge to connect us.

I am honored to provide that bridge! Through online interviews, I will share the variety of backgrounds, perspectives, impacts, tools, and sibling wisdom so no sibling feels alone. I want all siblings to remember, you count too!

LATEST SIBLING STORIES

READ MORE ARTICLES & STORIES ON KYM’S BLOG

UPCOMING EVENTS

DOWNLOAD FLYER & REGISTER

 EDRC’S “ASK THE EXPERTS” PRESENTS LIFTING UP SIBLINGSAND WHAT THEY NEED MOST

Join our guest speakers as we discuss best practices related to meeting the needs of siblings when a brother or sister is fighting an eating disorder.

PAST EVENTS

June 10, 2021
The Missing Pieces: Experiences & Needs of Siblings whose Brother or Sister Have or Had an Eating Disorder, a panel presentation at the Academy of Eating Disorders 2021 International Conference on Eating Disorders

Panel: Janet Treasure, FRCPsych, Gina Dimitropoulous, Ph.D, MSW, Jacinta Tan, MD, Ph.D. Bridget Whitlow, LMFT, and Kym Piekunka, Sibling Advocate

June 2, 2021
Sibling to Sibling InterviewsWorld Eating Disorders Action Day, Bridget Whitlow, LMFT and I had the privilege to interview four siblings about their journeys, lessons learned, and perspectives.

29 March 2021
Alaska Eating Disorders Alliance.

September 28, 2020
“Lifting Up Siblings and What They Need Most” Presentation for the 6th Annual Interior Region Eating Disorder Forum in British Columbia. Presentation with Bridget Whitlow, LMFT

August 20, 2020
Sibling Needs Presentation for Eating Disorders Families Australia with Bridget Whitlow, LMFT

 June 13, 2020
“Lifting Up Siblings: What They Need Most”  F.E.A.S.T.’s 3rd Annual Feast of Knowledge with Bridget Whitlow, LMFT

March 13, 2020 CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19
“Eating Disorder Impact on Siblings” at the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine‘s Annual Meeting

UPCOMING EVENTS

DOWNLOAD FLYER & REGISTER

 EDRC’S “ASK THE EXPERTS” PRESENTS LIFTING UP SIBLINGSAND WHAT THEY NEED MOST

Join our guest speakers as we discuss best practices related to meeting the needs of siblings when a brother or sister is fighting an eating disorder.

PAST EVENTS

June 10, 2021
The Missing Pieces: Experiences & Needs of Siblings whose Brother or Sister Have or Had an Eating Disorder, a panel presentation at the Academy of Eating Disorders 2021 International Conference on Eating Disorders

Panel: Janet Treasure, FRCPsych, Gina Dimitropoulous, Ph.D, MSW, Jacinta Tan, MD, Ph.D. Bridget Whitlow, LMFT, and Kym Piekunka, Sibling Advocate

June 2, 2021
Sibling to Sibling InterviewsWorld Eating Disorders Action Day, Bridget Whitlow, LMFT and I had the privilege to interview four siblings about their journeys, lessons learned, and perspectives.

29 March 2021
Alaska Eating Disorders Alliance.

September 28, 2020
“Lifting Up Siblings and What They Need Most” Presentation for the 6th Annual Interior Region Eating Disorder Forum in British Columbia. Presentation with Bridget Whitlow, LMFT

August 20, 2020
Sibling Needs Presentation for Eating Disorders Families Australia with Bridget Whitlow, LMFT

 June 13, 2020
“Lifting Up Siblings: What They Need Most”  F.E.A.S.T.’s 3rd Annual Feast of Knowledge with Bridget Whitlow, LMFT

March 13, 2020 CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19
“Eating Disorder Impact on Siblings” at the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine‘s Annual Meeting

CONTACT KYM

Kym currently offers the Sibling Support Series. A series of 5 zoom virtual sibling groups.

Kym is also available for workshops and speaking engagements. Fill out the form below and Kym will be happy to connect.

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