The holiday season is a time of reflection, and each of us at Celiac Disease Foundation want to thank you for all that you have done this year. You can read about everything you have helped make possible in our Year in Review.
You should also know that we are not the only ones who appreciate you. Each day, we hear from physicians, researchers, seniors, young adults, mothers and fathers of suffering children, and everyone eating gluten-free, each expressing how grateful they are for the work we do. Though they don’t know you personally, what they are really saying is how thankful they are to you for making our work possible.
Just what kind of life-changing effect did you have?
Consider for a moment that your support of Celiac Disease Foundation empowered four million people in 2014 to become educated about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet at celiac.org. As important, across the country, tens of thousands of individuals with celiac or caregivers of those with celiac were able to get one-to-one support from CDF to help understand and cope with their diagnosis and to begin and/or continue their journey to better health.
Your generosity helped transform three-year old Sam into an energetic, happy, and healthy toddler. “When Sam was first diagnosed, our family felt lost and hopeless, and the doctors did not give us any information other than to simply ‘stop eating gluten,’’ his mother said. “We immediately found Celiac Disease Foundation, which greeted us with open arms, and provided information, advice and, support, for which we will be eternally grateful.”
Your generosity helped Gianna be her own health advocate and educate her doctor about celiac disease. After nine years of suffering nearly every day without a diagnosis, after nine years of seeing doctor after doctor to no avail, Gianna found CDF’s Symptoms Checklist at celiac.org. She filled out CDF’s Symptoms Checklist and brought it to her doctor. The doctor finally tested her for celiac disease and the results were striking. Gianna immediately adopted a gluten-free diet and began to feel healthy again for the first time in almost 10 years. “The resources and support provided by Celiac Disease Foundation have changed my life, and I couldn’t imagine where I’d be without them,” Gianna told us.
Thanks to you, we are putting in place the tools and the national support network needed to end the needless suffering caused by celiac disease.
• The Symptoms Checklist that Gianna found online is essential because, with the average celiac diagnosis taking 6-10 years after the disease symptoms begin, it helps patients accurately define and report their symptoms of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity to their doctor or other healthcare practitioner.
• Our Healthcare Practitioner Directory is now the nation’s most comprehensive online search engine designed specifically for patients to find reliable information on physicians, dietitians, and other allied healthcare practitioners familiar with diagnosing and treating celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders. Patients and their loved ones can complete the Symptoms Checklist, enter their ZIP code, and view a list of practitioners closest to them.
• The National Education Conference & Gluten-Free EXPO is the largest gathering of its kind in the United States for patients, family members, and the public to receive current and credible information about celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders, and to sample the latest and best in gluten-free products.
You are the heart of all we do, big and small. For that we thank you. Because of your donations to Celiac Disease Foundation, the suffering ends and the healing begins for people like Sam and Gianna, and for those who love them.
In 2015, CDF will celebrate 25 years of service to the celiac community. We need your continued tax-deductible generosity now to help us continue our drive to change the diagnosis rate in the United States from an abysmal 1 in every 6 diagnosed with the disease to 1 in 5 within a year, 1 in 4 by the following year, and so on until we assure that 100% of our celiac disease population is diagnosed and treated.
From all of us here at Celiac Disease Foundation, thank you very much for all that you do.
Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy holiday season,
Marilyn G. Geller, Chief Executive Officer