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Gilbert teen turns to baking after pandemic isolation left her with an eating disorder

Allison Mannon is currently taking orders and said sales from her homemade goodies will go toward college.

GILBERT, Ariz. — When Allison Mannon started her Freshman year at Williams Field High School in Gilbert, she was looking forward to a new chapter and a lot more tennis.

But her excitement stopped when the pandemic hit, the now 16-year-old told 12News. And Mannon found herself isolated like a lot of people and put her focus on fitness.

As she prioritized pushing herself physically, she wasn't eating much at all. 

Mannon said it was long after the COVID-19 lockdown that she developed an eating disorder.

"In my eyes that's who I was, I was my eating disorder," she explained. "It became an addiction, addicted to losing weight and exercising and at first the compliments, before people knew how serious of a problem it was."

That addiction put her in the hospital for three months. 

Mannon, though, found a fresh start, committing to recovery thanks in part to the love and support of the people around her, like her tennis coach Jayson Elliott.

"I know how much she has on her plate already, she's challenging for valedictorian of the class, she is a state-level competitive tennis player, she's got all of these things," Elliott added.

Elliott, a coach and confidant but also a cake consumer, decided to share Mannon's baking talents on the "Go Gilbert" Facebook page.

"Within 24 hours, it had over 900 likes, I posted her Instagram page on there too," Elliott said. "Now she's got tons of demand for her bakery."

On her page, you can find pictures of masterpieces Mannon is proud to share. 

She is currently taking orders and said sales from her homemade goodies will go toward college, where she plans on becoming a neurosurgeon.

See her cakes here: https://www.instagram.com/ajsmacaronsnmore/

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