Saturday, September 19, 2009

R.I.P Cynthia Rowland Mcclure~

Just posting these pictures has brought me to tears~ I attended two of Cynthia's "Hope weeks" at a hotel in Baldwin park California in 1997. The Hope weeks were 5 days long and consisted of several groups and meals together. They were very intense, just run by Cynthia and Mike Moore from the Minirth Meier clinic where Cynthia had spent several weeks in patient for bulmia nervosa.
Many may be familiar with her book, THE MONSTER WITHIN, where she wrote candidly about her severe bulimia and her stay with other patents with different disorders at the clinic.
Cynthia had been a news anchorwoman who would consume thousands of calories a day while downing boxes of laxatives and purging. She was knocking on death's door when arriving at the clinic and went through horrible withdraws from her disorder. What touched me the most in her book was how honest she was in what she needed and how hard she pushed for recovery. She speaks of when she needed a hug or needed to confront someone and was honest about her deepest thoughts and emotions.
Cynthia used her recovery to go on to help others through her Hope weeks and speaking engagements all over the country. She also wrote a book called LIFE AFTER ADDICTIONS about her being diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 28 and meeting her husband David and later adopting two boys from two different women who suffered with eating disorders.
During the first Hope Week I was greeted with a very enthusiastic Cynthia. She was so warm and caring and it was evident this wasn't just a job to her but her passion in life.
It was during my first Hope week I ended up being rushed to urgent care by ambulance due to collapsing with chest pains from laxatives and purging. I was given i.v and sent back hours later. Cynthia was supportive but confrontative and knew I had the pills. She had me get them from my room and when I gave them to her in group and confronted she shared with everyone how she felt about her abuse of them and fully felt the chemicals in them contributed and possibly caused her breast cancer. She had been in remission at the time of this Hope Week and fully recovered from her eating disorder. During this group I lost it. She sat in the middle of the group on the floor and called me to her. She literally just sat ad held me the rest of the group! Amazing woman!!!
I kept in phone contact with Cynthia after Hope Week and not long after Hope Week she called me and asked if I would meet her and a few others at Soup Plantation in Brea as she wanted to discuss something with us. I remember there were 3 of us and her. I brought her a snicker's bar as a joke and sat next to her. That's when she told us the devastating news. Her cancer came back ten fold. It was in her lymphnodes and spine! I just lost it. I cried all the way home and a few hours after.
Cynthia started chemo and a few months later I attended another of her Hope Weeks. Those would be the pictures with her cute flashy hat! She had lost her hair. When I arrived at the hotel she called me to her right away and took her hat off to show me. She was gorgeous but my heart was breaking for her. During the 5 day stay she missed a few session due to being ill but pushed through.
The cancer came back with a vengeance and she was no longer able to do Hope Weeks. What amazes me is she was given maybe a year to live and she lived 6. She passed away in August 2003. She spoke all over the country on God's love and eating disorders. She would come home to get chemo as the tumors in her spine kept returning and doctors told her not to go on speaking engagements but she did anyway and defied the odds for years after her death sentence.
Cynthia always wanted a Hope House where women with eating disorders could go to get support or stay for a few days. She spoke about this with a few of us that night at dinner. I had always hoped I could help her with it until the cancer returned. My hope is to keep her memory alive and someday speak as she did using her name and her love for other's and strong faith in Christ.
I love you Cynthia and you are greatly missed~


  1. I was at church today feeling really bad about Cynthia dieing. How could I have not know for 7 whole years. Why is it that people that have had it unfairly hard are the most shining stars as with Cynthia Rowland. I feel robbed. I wish I got the chance to say thank you to her.


  2. Dear Brande:

    Thank you for making this site. I would have never know about Cynthia's passing.

  3. I met Cynthia once at a meeting in Brea. I never made it to one of the Hope Weeks I probably should have. I still have her little inspirational book Food for the Hungry Heart. She was truly an amazing person.

  4. oh wow Teri. that's neat. I have that little book as well as she gave it to us at one of the Hope weeks I attended. I still ter up thinking about her and wish so badly she was with us still. Such an amazing, fun loving, woman of God!

  5. I knew Cynthia and her family, personally, back in the mid-70's -and I watched how her life developed over the years. Obviously, I lost track of her. I was telling my son about her this morning and wanted to see what she was doing these days, maybe even send her an e-mail. My eagerness has turned to sorrow. There were many sites for buying her books. Cynthia live on... and continues to help many. I send my love and thoughts to Cynthia through God now.

  6. In 1994 I met Cynthia and attended one of her Hope Weeks. She later came to my college and spoke. Her message is so powerful! Over the years I have thought of her and prayed for her. Last month I was going through a box of books and found her book Life After Addiction and read it immediately. Since 1995 I have been free from addiction and I too have battled cancer the last two years. She still inspires me! I am saddened to find out about her passing and wish she was still here. Her message needs to live on through all of us, those of us fortunate enough to experience her tough love and passion for those hurting. Thank you for posting this! ~Dayle

  7. When I think of Cynthia I think of someone that loved people at the heart. She loved people as I imagine Christ loved people. She listened to you and looked deep into your eyes while you were talking to her. She understood pain...physical and emotional. She could comfort and show compassion like no other!
    What a special woman! I miss her!

  8. I just started reading the monster within. I have been struggling with bulimia for three decades. My heart is hurting that she has died but it looks likes she truly made a difference while she was here. RIP....

    Katie from Arizona

  9. My name is Amy, and I am alive only because of Cynthia and Mike Moore. He counselled me up thru my unfortunate marriage, and a decade of bulimia. I cannot say enough about the Hope Weeks, phone calls, and even a private stay with Cynthia, her husband and son at their home in CA. Thank you for this memorial to the hard work and passionate love that was given to all of us by Cynthia. As a PS, does anyone know Mike Moore or where he is? Let me know please, Thank you & God Bless!