As Thanksgiving approaches, we at the Celiac Disease Foundation are grateful for you, our celiac community, and the progress we are making – together – to accelerate diagnosis, treatment, and a cure for celiac disease.
We’ve accomplished so much this year, and here are some noteworthy highlights:
- The Celiac Disease Foundation has organized and led the fight, with your support and that of our allies in Congress, to increase funding for celiac disease research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the world’s largest biomedical research funder. Last December, following our years-long effort, the NIH issued the first-ever Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) for celiac disease – a commitment to solicit and fund research grants specifically for celiac disease. As a direct result, we are excited to share there are 73 NIH-funded active grants for celiac disease. We also obtained from the NIH a commitment to list – again, for the first time ever – celiac disease in its expansive online database of disease and condition research funding; funding was reported at $9 million for FY21. Our efforts are producing incredible results, and this is fantastic news for the celiac disease patient community!
- The ability of patients to adhere to the gluten-free diet to manage celiac disease is heavily dependent on food manufacturers who voluntarily agree to label their products “gluten-free.” On October 13, we hosted an Ask-the-FDA Educational Webinar about gluten-free food labeling rules. Representatives from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration discussed labeling laws in the U.S., and a representative from Coeliac UK and the Association of European Coeliac Societies (AOECS) discussed how European labeling laws differ from those in the U.S. The webinar content was shaped by questions submitted by the celiac patient community at the request of the Foundation, and hundreds of our community members attended this event, ensuring they are current on the latest information to manage their gluten-free diet.
- We’ve concluded another incredibly successful Virtual Turkey Trot Cross-Country Challenge. Over the weekend of November 12 and 13, members of our community gathered to raise awareness and support the work of the Foundation, and 825 participants from 46 states, Canada, and Guam raised $150,000 for research funding! We thank our community for their dedication and commitment to improving the lives of everyone with celiac disease.
We have just launched our Annual Gift of Hope Match Challenge campaign, and our Board of Directors is matching dollar-for-dollar any donation made to the Gift of Hope – up to a total of $100,000. They agreed to this challenge match because they understand how important the Gift of Hope is to accelerating diagnosis, treatments, and a cure.
We are excited about the year ahead – particularly our efforts to advance promising treatments through the clinical trial process, our ongoing work with researchers at leading academic institutions, and our fight to secure additional funding from the NIH and other federal sources to advance celiac disease research. None of our work is possible without the continued generosity of our community, and you have our deepest gratitude.
We wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!
To Our Health,
Marilyn G. Geller