Danielle's Story
Danielle's Place, Ontario, Burlington

Danielle wanted so much to live a full life, and once wrote “I see incredible beauty in humanity, only most of it is unfulfilled potential, hidden under the superficial.”

At 17 years old, my daughter Danielle was a caring, talented, typical teenager, soon to be the lead actress in a Sears festival play, and applying to go to university.  Unfortunately her life was forever changed that first day of summer - by a sexual assault that left her unable to face eating.  Already slim, she lost weight rapidly and fell into the alternate reality of anorexia.  She became too weak to appear in her play.  Despite putting herself on the wait-list in the first months of the illness, it was three years before she finally got into a day-program for three months only.  With no after-support, adrift, Danielle relapsed to the point of dying.  Inadequate treatment - due largely to inadequate funding.

Before her death, Danielle had a vision to build compassionate and humane services for the many sufferers of eating disorders.  Together we formed goals that would see her vision become a reality.  When she died at twenty-five, Sept 20, 2001, depleted in every part of her body, I took up these goals without her, but with the help of many wonderful people.

On behalf of Danielle and the Board of Danielle’s Place, we welcome you to our world where your precious uniqueness is valued and where your personal journey towards the full life that you so deserve, is no longer a lonely one.  We aim to empower you, to give you tools and encouragement for every stage of your journey.  We have seen the wonders of recovery and know what it awaits you.

Carolyn Mayeur

Danielle's Place, Ontario, Burlington Danielle's Place, Ontario, Burlington "These two photos exhibit the startling contrast in appearance of Burlington resident and anorexia sufferer Danielle Mayeur. Directly to the right she is shown as a healthy 16 year old. The other image is of an extremely thin and sickly Danielle at the age of 23."

Danielle's Place, Ontario, Burlington

Danielle's Place Board Members

“As a partnered organization with Reach Out Centre for Kids, Danielle’s Place no longer has a separate Board of Directors. We’d like to thank all of our past Board Members for their time, energy and dedicated support”.

Danielle's Place, Ontario, Burlington Debbie Lewczuk, Hons B.A, B. Ed.,C.F.P, F.I.C.B

Debbie, board Chair, is a career banker, with a background in education. Her career history spans a variety of roles across National Office and the branch network

She is also Champions annual fundraising for J.B.M.H on behalf of RBC Royal Bank, and is an active member of the Burlington Club of Rotary North, an International Service Association aiding both local and International charitable organizations.

Danielle's Place, Ontario, Burlington Ruthanne Bowker

Ruthanne Bowker chose to join the Board of Danielle’s Place because it supports a cause that’s close to her heart.  Like most of us, her extended family and the network of young people she has met through her own four children have been touched by the trauma eating disorders leave in their wake.

Originally from Burlington, Ruthanne has been a practicing lawyer in Oakville for over thirty years, is a small claims court judge and has been a long-time volunteer, primarily by sitting on the Board of the Oakville Family Y and on numerous United Way committees.  She focuses on healthy, active living by balancing her working life with cycling, skiing, tennis, gardening, piano playing and any other activity that is family-based.
Ruthanne believes that the support and assistance offered at Danielle’s Place can save lives.  By increasing awareness, strengthening relationships within the medical community and advocating for a sharper focus on this gripping mental illness, we can make a difference not just for the individuals who have struggled with eating disorders, but also for their loved ones and for our broader community.

Danielle's Place, Ontario, Burlington Neil Oliver

Neil Oliver is Group Publisher and V.P. for Metroland Media Group., where he is responsible for Metroland's largest community newspaper group that stretches from Oakville, southwest to Niagara and northwest to Kitchener. He is also responsible for Metroland's three daily newspapers; The Hamilton Spectator, Waterloo Record and Guelph Mercury.
Neil has over 28 years experience in the media industry and holds an MBA from the University of Leicester.

Neil has served on several boards in the not-for-profit sector as well as industry associations and lives in Burlington with his wife and two children.

Danielle's Place, Ontario, Burlington Dr. Susan Williams, Psychologist and Director

I am honoured to be a board member and help Danielle’s Place maintain and develop programs to assist individuals, families, and friends dealing with eating disorders.  My knowledge in this area began over 25 years ago when I first conducted research on risk factors for eating disorders in children and was startled to find out how many of them did not like their body, were dieting, or were engaging in unhealthy eating disorder behaviours.  I then went on to co-lead a teen group at the McMaster University Adolescent Eating Disorders program where it was very sad to see so many teens struggling with this very severe health condition.  

While Assistant Professor at McMaster University, I conducted research on prevention and intervention with anxious and depressed children, and provided treatment in the adolescent, child, and adult hospital programs.  In addition to spreading awareness to parents in the community about mental health concerns including eating disorders, I currently work in private practice with children, teens, and adults with a variety of concerns including individuals and/or parents and spouses who are dealing with eating disorders.  

I continue to hope that we can help support the development of more confident and healthier youth and decrease the prevalence of eating disorders and other mental health problems.

Danielle's Place, Ontario, Burlington Rose MacDonald, Program Coordinator

In 2007, following more than 20 years in various business management roles, I was offered the position of Director of Resource Development for Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice, which eventually led me to follow my dream  to help vulnerable individuals find an improved quality of life.  A CSW diploma, coupled with Bereavement, Facilitation and Suicide Prevention training led me to work with families raising children with special needs and individuals grieving loss, in a variety of capacities. I am honoured to be working now at Danielle’s Place, where, with the support of more than 50 dedicated community volunteers, we are re-establishing programming, while building a plan for long term sustainability so that we can provide support for individuals whose lives are affected by eating disorders, for years to come.

Danielle's Place, Ontario, Burlington Sue Hamlett – Board Member

I have spent the last 13 years working in the field of Laboratory Automation and Robotics.   My background includes software development, training and management as well as being actively involved in fundraising for Charities such the United Way, Heart and Stroke, Breast Cancer, CNIB and various local charities and disaster relief funds.

In 2012 I was given the opportunity to join the board at Danielle’s Place.  I have learned and realize that most people are unaware of how far reaching and devastating Eating Disorders have become.  It is my pleasure and an honor to be able to help raise awareness and funds required to continue offering the much needed services at Danielle’s Place.

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