TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Sophia Nell Baldor as a Lightning Community Hero during the first period of tonight's game against the Winnipeg Jets. Baldor, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will divide the money among her charities of choice, Frameworks of Tampa Bay, Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness.
Upon graduating from junior high school, Baldor was hospitalized and considered to be in critical condition due to her loss of 40 pounds from anorexia nervosa in just a short period of time. Struggling with social issues and betrayal, as well as feeling helpless in developing social relationships, she focused inward and began to spiral into self-destruction until hospitalization proved to be the only solution. Upon making a major life-changing choice during her time in the hospital, she recovered in a grueling 10-week program in Oklahoma just in time to begin the ninth grade. After being silent about her middle school struggle, Sophia volunteered to speak on a teen panel of Frameworks ambassadors, realizing that part of her healing was to help others overcome the same struggles that were previously her own.
Since then, Baldor has immersed herself in community service. She actively volunteers as a speaker for the National Eating Disorder Association, plans awareness and fundraising for Frameworks, where she teaches social and emotional skills to middle schoolers, and also serves as an advocate on behalf of The Spring to raise awareness of sexual abuse. She is grateful for every day and makes each one count.