2022 TCS New York City Marathon
New York City, New York
We are thrilled to be selected as an Official Charity Partner in the 2022 TCS NYC Marathon! On November 6, Team Gluten-Free runners from across the country will unite in New York to run the 26.2 miles with the common goal of accelerating diagnosis, treatments, and a cure for the three million Americans affected by celiac disease.
November 6 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Meet Our Incredible Team Gluten-Free Runners
Reese Poncia: After years of suffering chronic gut pain, illness, and fatigue throughout college and law school, followed by countless GI appointments, testing, and cycling through various medications to help with my digestive issues, I was diagnosed with celiac disease in September 2018. Since then, I have been living a strictly gluten-free (and dairy-free due to my IBS-D and SIBO) lifestyle. As my digestive and auto-immune issues stemming from celiac disease continue to negatively affect and impact my everyday life, I remain hopeful for a cure or fix one day. I am passionate about supporting, advocating for, and spreading awareness of the need for improvement in research and education on celiac disease. Joining Team Gluten-Free is an incredible experience and opportunity for me to expand awareness and improve education regarding the need to increase research for celiac disease. My hope is that one day no one has to be limited in what he/she/they can and cannot eat for fear of an attack on his/her/their own body. I look forward to seeing the change the Celiac Disease Foundation will affect years down the road by enhancing awareness now, starting with the help of your donations. Support Reese here!
Charlie Thompson-Orsua: In 2014, my two beautiful daughters were diagnosed with celiac disease, and our family’s lives changed. Understanding wheat/gluten and contamination became an immediate priority and impacted our lives significantly. I am proud that they don’t let celiac disease dictate their lives, but it is a challenge for them daily. They do not get to be carefree; gluten contamination is a constant threat to their health and affects their lives in so many ways. So I joined Team Gluten-Free for the 2022 New York City Marathon and have committed to raising $5000 to support the Celiac Disease Foundation. Please help me in this effort to honor my daughters and make a difference. Support Charlie here!
Matti Neustadt: In 2001, I ran my first marathon. It was an amazing (if slow) experience, and I caught the running bug. I added biking and swimming to the mix and completed my first Half Ironman in 2015. Then, in 2015, I was diagnosed with celiac disease. In me, it causes severe muscle fatigue and joint pain. I was diagnosed after going from running a 2:20 half marathon to being unable to walk across a parking lot without feeling like my legs would collapse underneath me from exhaustion. I knew I needed to go on a gluten-free diet. How hard could it be? In short, hard. My world revolved around food. Lunch with friends. Happy hours. Fundraising dinners. Date nights. All things that now got me labeled as “high maintenance,” “difficult,” or “too demanding”. People stopped inviting. I stopped going. It was just too hard. But if I kept compliant, I could keep running, biking, swimming, and skiing. Now, I’ve been given the chance to run the New York City Marathon (bucket list!!) with the Celiac Disease Foundation on Team Gluten-Free to raise awareness and money to help find a cure for this physically painful and socially isolating disease. Support Matti here!
Emily Breuer: Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007 as a 12-year-old, I initially thought my world turned upside down: gluten-free food that didn’t break apart upon touch was almost impossible to find, few restaurants understood what gluten-free meant, and the thought of traveling or going to friends’ houses seemed out of question. But with a supportive family and caring friends, a larger gluten-free community to learn from, and the realization that celiac disease is still so underdiagnosed, I came to appreciate that I was almost lucky to have been diagnosed with celiac, and I could finally regain a healthy body. In the 15 years since my diagnosis, I’ve made it a mission not to let my celiac disease inhibit my life, and I want to do everything I can to support others doing the same. I feel extremely lucky to have an extended family who prioritizes my health, to feel confident navigating a safe gluten-free experience in foreign countries, and to be able to afford the higher-priced gluten-free food, and through celiac education and advocacy, my goal is that others can feel similarly. As a fierce advocate for people with celiac, I strive to improve conditions and increase opportunities for celiacs: in college, I successfully advocated to increase access to gluten-free food, I’ve blogged about my family’s experience navigating the gluten-free lifestyle, and I’ve educated parents about celiac symptoms, encouraging testing in young kids exhibiting symptoms that I faced myself. Support Emily here!
Clara McNatt: I went out for the cross country team in my sophomore year of high school. The cross country team became my primary social outlet and gave me something to be proud of. One morning during my junior year of high school, I noticed my limbs tingling while walking to school. I recalled our tough track workout the night before and shrugged it off as muscle fatigue. The tingling persisted that day, through my run that afternoon, and continued for several days. After a doctor’s visit, next came the diagnosis: Celiac disease. I stopped eating gluten and received an iron infusion in the cancer ward of my local hospital, and soon I could run again.
I was chosen to be a Student Ambassador for the Celiac Disease Foundation during my senior year of high school. In my community in Sacramento, California, running is everywhere. Our parks constantly host races that bring together people of all ages, backgrounds, shapes, and sizes. With the help of my dear friend and her little brother, who also has celiac, I set out to spread awareness and raise money for the Celiac Disease Foundation. We called our effort “Sac for Celiac” and, naturally, we hosted a 5K. My experience as a member of the Celiac disease community has been closely intertwined with my love for running from the day of my diagnosis. I have battled to keep running, and I am honored to represent the Celiac Disease Foundation at this year’s TCS NYC Marathon! I appreciate your support as I embark on this new challenge, in the name of better living for individuals with celiac. Support Clara here!
Aaron Kent: Throughout my life, my biggest fans have always been my parents. They have supported me through every sport that I have ever played, no questions asked. A few years ago, I got into endurance sports (marathons, Ironman triathlons, etc.), and again, they were by my side. My Dad was also into his own endurance sport, surfing. He was the healthiest 67-year-old I knew. He could surf for hours on end (up to 7 hours if the waves were good), and wake up the next morning to do it again. He was freshly retired and enjoying surfing even more when one day he felt so faint, that he wound up in the emergency room. Fast forward two years, numerous hospital stays, every test possible, and several trips to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, and he was officially diagnosed with celiac disease. Needless to say, our lives have changed since the diagnosis. To watch him lose so much weight, become easily fatigued, and not be able to surf was heartbreaking. But he took it all in stride, educated himself and us about gluten-free living, and remained one of the most positive people I know. Two years ago, I honestly thought being gluten-free was a hipster fad diet, but since my Dad’s diagnosis, I learned how ignorant I was.
I want to help spread awareness about the dangers of gluten for those with celiac disease. I often think about how my Dad was able to endure and persevere through his diagnosis on a daily basis. He inspired me as an endurance athlete to keep pushing through my training every day. To be able to represent him and the Celiac Disease Foundation in the TCS NYC Marathon means so much to me. It is truly an honor and a privilege to represent an organization that is committed to raising awareness and supporting education, research, and treatment of celiac disease. Support Aaron here!