Laini Creates Walk-a-Thon to Support Daughter Mia

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TGF Member Laini Golden

Laini Golden sprung into action the moment she learned that her daughter Mia had celiac disease. Laini started in Mia’s classroom at her school near Sacramento, CA, first by educating Mia’s classmates and teachers about what celiac disease meant for Mia, and then by creating a walk-a-thon so that each child in their community could get involved and support Mia. They have already raised over $6,000 towards finding a cure for gluten-related disorders. Laini shares her story about Mia and celiac disease:


Mia, pictured above, was finally diagnosed with celiac disease at five years old

About Mia:

Starting at around 18 months, Mia had stomach issues, constipation, belly aches, and much more.  She would complain but would then just run off and play. She never cried in pain or wanted to miss any activity. Mia was so strong at such a young age. My husband is in the medical community and we would constantly ask various pediatricians what they thought about Mia’s symptoms. I was constantly told these were normal things in small children. Finally, a pediatrician encouraged me to see a GI specialist just to clear my mind. I am so thankful that she encouraged me to seek further information. Mia was finally diagnosed with celiac disease at 5 years old.

About Laini:

I started organizing The Shalom School Walk-a-Thon shortly after Mia’s diagnosis. This year, the event took place on May 16th starting at 10:00am. The students in Mia’s school are asked for pledges for a lump sum or per lap completed.

My advice to all Team Gluten-Free members is to start early! Just start talking about your event way in advance and educate people in your community about what they are raising money for and why it is important!

Be sure to make your event fun! We are going to do an obstacle course where the kids try not to touch the gluten. I wanted to make a difference in my daughter’s life and within the celiac community.

Despite being “different,” Mia continues to demonstrate grace and passion for life. Even though she has been diagnosed with a chronic illness, she shines wherever she goes and touches many with her spirit. Please help us find a cure for Mia and millions of other who are at risk for long-term health problems and need to be vigilant about every bite they eat.

To support Laini and Mia’s “Team Shalom”, check out their fundraising page here.


Email today to learn how you can start your own Team Gluten-Free event.