The Celiac Disease Foundation is proud to recognize our dedicated volunteers, Francie Wallack and Josh Denney, for their outstanding contributions to the Foundation and the celiac disease community.
Francie Wallack, the 2022 Celiac Disease Foundation Volunteer of the Year and Celiac Disease Foundation Student Ambassador, used her Bat Mitzvah as an opportunity to raise awareness and funds for celiac disease research.
Francie is the perfect example of turning her passion into a platform for good. She has been embroidering for years, so when she was thinking about how she could raise funds for celiac disease treatments and a cure, she created Francie’s Craft Shop! She spread the word about her online craft shop by telling her friends and family about it, creating business cards, and making an Instagram account to reach a wider audience. She also asked that her friends and family make a contribution to the Celiac Disease Foundation in lieu of Bat Mitzvah gifts. From these efforts, Francie has raised almost $20,000, exemplifying her dedication to funding research for treatments and a cure for celiac disease.
We are pleased to honor Josh Denney with the 2022 Celiac Disease Foundation Patient Advocacy Award. Since the first Patient Advocacy Summit in 2020, Josh has continued to champion our advocacy work and serves as an instrumental advocate for the celiac community.
His involvement with the Foundation has only grown in recent years. Josh served as a member of the 2021 Patient Education & Advocacy Summit Steering Committee, and spoke at the 2021 Summit about his experience advocating for celiac disease, inspiring attendees to get involved in advocacy efforts. Josh currently serves as a member of the Foundation’s Advocacy Advisory Council, and was instrumental in the call to create the Congressional Celiac Disease Caucus.
As an extraordinary advocate, Josh’s efforts to push forward necessary policy change and empower others to take action have greatly benefited the celiac disease community.
Francie and Josh’s remarkable commitment to the Foundation and celiac community is an inspiration to all of us. If you are motivated to help or want to find out more about volunteer and advocacy efforts, please visit our Student Ambassador program and the iAdvocate program.