Stories of Hope

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For the celiac disease community, the greatest gift of all this season is to assure full recognition of celiac disease by the medical community with rapid diagnosis and treatment for the 2.5 million Americans still undiagnosed.  CDF provides hope and help to people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity and their loved ones.

By investing in CDF, your donations, no matter the gift size, are being put to work now.  Visit our 2013 Year in Review”  to see how CDF puts your dollars to work.

 

Kathy – Undiagnosed for 50 years:

My name is Kathy.  I am a 57 year-old woman living in Washington, DC.  For as long as I can remember, my skin has been a mess.  As a little girl, I used to lie next to my mother in my bed crying about the itchy blotches that covered my body.  I would scratch them so hard that I had to wear mittens to bed.  As a teenager, I would stay at home rather than go out with my friends.  I can remember being diagnosed with psoriasis, eczema, allergies, and even a bad case of anxiety.  Nothing helped.

As an adult, it only got worse.  My hair started to fall out. I spent months wrapped in gauze like a mummy.  I could sometimes peel off sections of my skin like plastic wrap.  My husband moved into the guest room because he said I kept him awake because I scratched loudly in my sleep.  I was frustrated, depressed, and very often angry.

After seeing almost every dermatologist in the city, and being on a daily regimen of steroids, I had had enough!  Finally, a friend recommended a doctor who looked at my skin and told me that he thought I had Dermatitis Herpetiformis, the skin form of celiac disease.  He recommended that I get tested.  I did.  I tested positive for celiac disease. After a few weeks on a gluten-free diet my skin began to heal.  My hair started growing back.  I am buying nice clothes for the first time in my life.  I am singing in a jazz band.  I am traveling and enjoying my life.

I have made my contribution to CDF’s annual Gift of Hope Campaign. I ask you to do the same.  You and I know better than anyone the consequences of undiagnosed celiac disease.  By supporting CDF generously and frequently, we can help spread the word among healthcare providers and patients to increase the currently abysmal testing rates for celiac disease. Together, we can help end the suffering of an estimated 2.5 million Americans who are currently undiagnosed.

 

Jana – Undiagnosed for 25 Years:

I  first learned about CDF shortly after being diagnosed with celiac disease. Unfortunately that diagnosis came after 25 years of illness, visits to dozens of doctors and innumerable misdiagnosis’.  I was shocked and, frankly, devastated to learn that such a simple solution — don’t eat gluten — could have prevented all those years I lost to being sick.  I wondered how many others where in my situation… and what I could do about it.

I wandered into CDF’s offices unannounced.  The founder Elaine Monarch was in and stopped everything to talk to me. Really… files sat unopened and phones went unanswered.  She shared her story and the stories of others who needlessly suffered for years without a diagnosis.  I felt a little less alone that day. That day I began to support CDF.  I urge you to do the same, right now.

I have made my contribution to CDF’s annual Gift of Hope Campaign. You and I know better than anyone the consequences of undiagnosed celiac disease.  Together, we can help spread the word among healthcare providers and consumers to increase the currently abysmal testing rates for celiac disease. Together, we can help end the suffering of an estimated 2.5 million Americans who are currently undiagnosed.

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