(Courtesy Danielle Bates, junior at Oak Park and River Forest High School)

Hi my name is Danielle Bates and I am obese, plus-size, overweight and fat. When I think of myself all those words come to my mind. I want to change that, and I know that Wellsprings Fitness Camp is the best place for me to change. I am 5’3, 250 pounds, African-American, 16 years old and a female. I have been to one of Wellsprings facilities before; I went to the Wellsprings camp in North Carolina and had great results. I was only there for a month and afterwards I quickly gained all the weight I lost and more. This was a huge blow to me mentally. That was four years ago. I am older now and ready to make the big changes that will change my life for the future.

This weight holds me back so much and affects me mentally so. I attend Oak Park River Forest highschool and i am a resident of Oak Park I am constantly bullied because of it, called fat***, or Biggie and much more. I am a very out-going person and I know I can be so much more than what I am now if I did not have this weight holding me back. The bullies have affected me constantly leading me to doing things I am ashamed of like secluding myself from friends and family, leading into depression. I am ready to break free of this. I want to be powerful and healthy and I know I can be powerful and healthy with the help of you guys. I have been told constantly that I am a leader and that I will be something in the future.

In High School I was a peer mediator which is an organization that has peers mediate arguments among peers which I flourished in. I was also the Vice-President in the organization Best Buddies which was a place where mentally challenged kids socialized with other kids which I loved and adored. I was Vice President of ASPIRA which is a multi-cultural organization that focuses on community awareness and change. While I was a sophomore in high school, I had teachers constantly saying you are a leader you should be in this or your voice is so powerful you should be in that. I declined because I was afraid of what people will say about my weight. I know that Wellsprings Academy or any weight facility will give me the confidence I need to be successful in my high school career. The only problem I have is the money.

My family is not in a financial position to pay for me to go. I need to raise $10,000 to cover camp costs and other expenses. Any donations will be greatly appreciated. It could be 5 dollars or 500 dollars. Donations are tax deductible so please keep this in mind when deciding to donate. The website where you can donate is http://pledgie.com/campaigns/17661. Please do not hesitate to forward this email to anyone that you think will donate and help me towards my goal. I have a very short period of time to raise this money so please respond with urgency.

Thank you.

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