Marilyn’s Message March 2014

Spring is traditionally a time of rebirth and renewal.  As the season changes, so is Celiac Disease Foundation. Now that the FDA has recognized the need for gluten-free labeling rules and the gluten-free market is so plentiful, CDF is deploying our resources to address the nation’s abysmal diagnosis rate for celiac disease.  With a focus on both healthcare practitioners and patients, CDF is asking the nation to Consider Celiac and Request the Test.

This winter we introduced two tools designed to drive the current diagnosis rate of only 1 in 6 people with celiac disease diagnosed, to 1 in 5 by year end.  The CDF Symptoms Checklist, an interactive tool developed under the guidance of the CDF Medical Advisory Board, helps you accurately report your symptoms to your healthcare practitioner.  The CDF Healthcare Practitioner Directory provides you with practitioners in your local area who can interpret your Symptoms Checklist results and determine if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.  In the past month, more than 25,000 people have taken advantage of these tools.

CDF has also partnered with Quest Diagnostics in their “One symptom doesn’t define celiac disease. But one test can.” campaign to encourage patients to request, and physicians to order, the celiac disease panel if the patient is symptomatic or has a first-degree relative with celiac disease.

In keeping with this testing theme, both Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp will be presenting at the 2014 CDF National Conference & Gluten-Free EXPO.  I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to ask your important questions regarding genetic testing and blood screening.  Last year more than 3000 people sampled from over 100 gluten-free exhibitors in a 2-day educational and food extravaganza.  You won’t want to miss this year when Dr. Alessio Fasano will be cooking recipes from his new book Gluten Freedom and autographing your personal copy.  And you will want to be sure to ask Dr. John Zone his opinion of your skin care regimen.

A warm welcome to our new Team Gluten-Free members, your community fundraising efforts allow CDF to be a beacon of hope for so many.  We look forward to seeing you at the National Conference and honoring our top fundraisers at the VIP Dinner.

Finally, I want to thank all of you for your generous support of CDF.  Your gifts of money and labor empower all that we do.  We have a long way to go to stop the unnecessary suffering caused by celiac disease.  With your help, we will get there.

To Your Health,

Marilyn G. Geller, Chief Executive Officer