May is National Celiac Awareness Month. According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, an estimated 1 in 141 Americans has celiac disease, yet 83% of those who have it are either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. The statistics are frightening and much like many other things (autism and a variety of auto-immune diseases for example) are increasing daily.
We can ask WHY all day long till we’re blue in the face, but where does that get us? Nowhere. Instead let’s ask WHAT we can do to help. The options are endless. I’ll step down from my soap box and let you chime in now. What are you doing to help bring awareness to Celiac Disease?
One of my favorite “tell it how it is” bloggers, Gluten Dude as he so appropriately calls himself tells readers what it’s really like to live with Celiac Disease. He writes about the truth of being gluten-free, fighting those that think it’s just a trend, and how celebrities and brand names exploit it. Above all else he brings awareness to Celiac Disease and doesn’t take you know what from anyone.
His recent posts in honor of National Celiac Awareness month have really got me thinking. What am I doing to help bring awareness to Celiac Disease?
As a mother of a daughter with Celiac Disease, and someone that runs a gluten-free household, I’d like to think I’m pretty aware of what it means to be gluten-free. I’d like to think that I think of celiac disease all year long, not just the month of May. I’ve transformed my Restaurant and Catering Company into a safe environment and option for those that are gluten-free and recently released a gluten-free cookbook. I’m donating 40% of the cookbook proceeds to the University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center for the month of May to help find a cure. I travel around Chicago (and someday hopefully the country) promoting and educating people on how to eat, cook, and live gluten-free.
But what else? What else can I do to help bring awareness to Celiac Disease? Please, inspire me! Tell me what you are doing to help bring awareness and then give yourself a big hug for me. Celiac awareness has come a long way in the last few years and without advocates such yourself that would have never been possible.
As I always say, it’s been quite a journey and one that we still have a long road ahead on. No mother likes to see their child struggle, but I don’t think it’s too much to dream of the day where Sarah will live a “normal life”, where the public will understand what Celiac Disease really is and will take it seriously. The day when my son comes home from school, opens the pantry and doesn’t mutter in anger that he” hates his sister” when looking at the subpar gluten-free options. That day will come, but what will you do to get us there?
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