Going Gluten-FreeApril 28, 2010

May Is Celiac Awareness Month

When I was a child, I celebrated all the normal holidays—Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, Labor Day. But I did not celebrate having celiac disease. In fact, I could barely pronounce it. I called myself a Silly Act and followed a 17-page dietary program that added "forbidden" foods back to my diet one by one until I was supposedly cured.  Back then (about 50 years ago), there was never any mention that gluten was the culprit or the problem food to avoid.

I was re-diagnosed in 1976. (We know now that there is no cure for celiac disease.) Again, I celebrated all the usual holidays. This time I did so without eating gluten, of course. But I still did not celebrate being a celiac.   

Today, so many people have celiac disease and so many more are yet to be diagnosed that an entire month is dedicated to drawing attention to this genetic autoimmune disease. May is Celiac Awareness Month.  

So join me in raising a fork for celiac awareness and participate in one of the many events taking place throughout the country to bring attention to this important disease. Although there's much more to be accomplished in terms of research, testing, product availability, and medical and public awareness, the progress that's been made since I was first diagnosed as a child—and the restored health of those now being diagnosed—are reasons to celebrate!

This year’s festivities include a host of events from celiac walks to golf tournaments and restaurant offerings. Here’s a partial list of events. Check local support group websites for more happenings. And tell us how you are celebrating Celiac Awareness Month.

 

The Gluten-Free Challenge

A joint awareness project of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America and Pamela’s Products takes place throughout the month. It’s called The Gluten-Free Challenge and its purpose is to demonstrate that gluten-free meals can taste great.

For more information, go to: www.gogfchallenge.com.

 

2010 Chef to Plate Awareness Campaign

The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) is kicking off this year’s Chef to Plate Awareness Campaign to help increase celiac awareness. Through partnering with restaurants offering gluten-free menu options, they are spreading awareness of the gluten-free lifestyle to millions of people. Sign up a restaurant or get restaurants in your area to participate.

 

Support the Bill for National Celiac Awareness Month

For the third year in a row, the American Celiac Disease Alliance has introduced a resolution before the House to make May officially National Celiac Awareness Month. Contact your Congressman or woman and ask them to support H. Con. Res. 110. All of the national celiac organizations are backing the proposal.

If you are a business or organization, send an email to Andrea Levario, Executive Director of the American Celiac Disease Alliance aslevario@americanceliac.org with your company name and contact information. In the subject line, type "In Support of Celiac Awareness Month."

 

Uno’s Chicago Grill Celebrates Celiac Awareness Month

During the week of May 24-30, Uno’s Chicago Grill will donate a percentage of sales of gluten-free pizza to the American Celiac Disease Alliance. If you’d like to participate, download the special voucher on the ACDA website www.americanceliac.org.

 

Making Tracks for Celiacs

Walks to celebrate May as Awareness Month are being held throughout May and into June in conjunction with University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research. Go to http://www.celiacwalk.org/ for more information and to sign up for a walk in your area. Show your solidarity and bring attention to Celiac Disease.

Here is a partial listing:

  • Ninth International Run/Walk For Celiac Disease (Baltimore, MD)
    Sunday, May 2, 2010
    Contact: Carolyn Weglein, celiacwalk@yahoo.com
  • Michigan Walk
    Sponsored by Tri-County Celiacs
    Sunday, May 23, 2010
    Contact: Julie at julie.ladwig@yahoo.com.
  • Iowa Walk
    Sponsored by the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Support Group
    Saturday, June 5, 2010
    Contact: Kristi Simmerman at  ksimmerman@mchsi.com or 319-234-2104.

 

CDF 20th Anniversary Annual Education Conference and Food Faire

May 15, 2010
8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Los Angeles Downtown Marriott Hotel
FEATURING TOP NATIONAL SPEAKERS
For more information, visit www.celiac.org.

 

Chip In For Celiac

Second Annual Golf Tournament
May 21, 2010
Proceeds go to the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland (www.celiaccenter.org).
A donation from the proceeds will be made to the Greater New Haven Celiac Group (www.ctceliacsupport.org).

 

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