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Mark Wheeler, “hard to Swallow” - Problem Page Letter

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Letter 1

Text: Letter

Style: Formal

Audience: Agony Aunt

Purpose: To seek help for her daughter in relation to her eating disorder

13 . 4 . 1972

Dear Agony Aunt,

I am writing this letter because of what is happening to my daughter, Catherine Dunbar. She hasn’t eaten in over two weeks, I’m awfully worried about what could happen to her if she doesn’t get help soon. When she actually does eat, she eats very little despite being hazardously underweight, she’ll cut her food into tiny pieces and only wants to eat alone. Ever since this happened, she seems to have become more isolated, she doesn’t go out as much as she used to and rarely sees her friends. Despite all of this, Catherine still does very well at school, she gets excellent grades and is a perfectionist.

Since Catherine was a child she was always a difficult eater. I guess the problem started when she was eight weeks old and I was forced to bottle feed her because my milk supply had dried up. After a week or so, her abdomen became hard and swollen and she was clearly in pain. I was advised to cut out all the milk from her diet. For years all Catherine would eat was peanut butter, cheese, yoghurt, fruits, sausages and occasionally bacon. She would never get sick so she was obviously getting the right nutriments.

When I was Catherine's age, I was forced to eat what I didn’t want and that was horrible. Therefore I never forced Catherine to eat what she didn’t want to. However this enraged John, my husband.

I think that what could have caused all of this is the fact that our family is going through financial difficulties and we had to move houses. Catherine hated the fact of moving out of our old house and seemed to have gotten more stressed because of this.

We have gone to a doctor before, Doctor Wynne, however, he said that they couldn’t do anything to help Catherine and that she should get better once we had moved houses however she just seems to have gotten worse in the past few days. Doctor Wynne suggested that we gave Catherine roughage to try and slow down her digestive system. We did and although she continued to excel academically, she seemed pale and tired.

Only a while ago did I realise that something was seriously wrong with Catherine. I got a phone call from the school's headmistress saying that she hasn’t eaten anything in over two weeks and that she was being sent home. When I saw Catherine I was shocked, she was pale, drawn, hollow eyed and only able to walk very slowly. I am very worried of what could happen to Catherine if we don’t do something about her disorder quick.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs. Maureen Dunbar

Letter 2

Text: Letter

Style: Formal

Audience: Mrs. Maureen Dunbar

Purpose: To inform Mrs. Dunbar about anorexia

15 . 4 . 1972

Dear Mrs. Dunbar,

I am sorry to hear about what has happened to your daughter Catherine, by the information that you have given me, I believe that your daughter is suffering from anorexia. You might not have heard about anorexia before, but I can explain it to you.

Anorexia is an eating disorder



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