BURGAW -- The number of middle-aged women with anorexia is on the rise, researchers say, even though the disease usually takes root around puberty.
One family in Burgaw knows first hand about what anorexia can do, because daughter Joy battled the disease for more than 20 years.
Joy's mother called the disease a silent killer; one that consumes the whole family.
At age 32, Joy spoke to church groups and young girls about anorexia. She discussed the warning signs and how to overcome it, but in the end, she could not beat the disorder herself.
Joy died in May, leaving behind an infant son and a 5-year-old daughter.