Does my story sound familiar?
In the spring of 2012, I got very sick. I went to the doctor because I was having bad abdominal symptoms. This wasn’t a new experience for me. I had struggled with GI issues my whole life.
I’d been told I had acid reflux, irritable bowels syndrome etc. A doctor at a walk-in clinic ordered an ultrasound and blood-work. A couple of days later, I was called back to the office with confirmation that I had tested positive for celiac, with blood results that were off the charts.
My diagnosis was a shock for me.
I returned to the doctor with my kids, then 11 and 13 to also be tested. We left on holiday and while I was gone, I needed to find answers and understand this disease. Thankfully I found the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA). I did a lot of reading about the disease and I would share facts and resources from the CCA website and Facebook Group with my family. My son had all the textbook symptoms including delayed growth (he wasn’t even on the growth chart), hypoglycemia, and tooth enamel malformation. I had taken him to numerous doctors where I was made to feel like I was crazy trying to get answers to his health issues, and none of the doctors would really take me seriously. I quickly learned there was a whole gluten-free community who needed a strong voice to advocate for us.
While we were waiting for the results to come in, my daughter was asking me a lot of questions and frequently wondered when we would get the results. At some point, I asked her, “Why do you keep asking? Are you worried it will be positive?” At that point, she responded with a list of symptoms that I didn’t even know she had! And, so, not surprisingly, both of their tests came back positive.
My family’s journey isn’t unique.
If you are reading this, chances are you or someone you know has received a diagnosis of celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis or gluten sensitivity. The news can be a relief for some but for many it can be overwhelming especially during the holidays.
The good news is that thanks to on-going support from people like you, we are changing and improving the lives of individuals across Canada. We have an advocate, a science-based resource, an investor in Canadian research and a place of compassionate support in our corner – the Canadian Celiac Association. CCA is a national charity overseen by a volunteer board and supported by a small dedicated staff team. I am personally grateful for their hard work but we can’t do it alone.
To increase our efforts on behalf of the community and to help that next newly diagnosed individual, we need your support. That is why I’ve reached out to you this holiday season to ask for a financial gift for the CCA to help us raise $30,000 by December 31. You can click here to donate today.
Your donation will be used in 2020 to launch new education tools, increase public awareness, improve outreach within the medical community while expanding our advocacy efforts and research.
I’m pleased to share with you how your donations have been put into action this year– click here to let us count the ways!
As we head into this busy holiday season, I want to personally thank you for continuing to be a part of our ongoing success and bright future.
ps. If you get your donation in by December 31, you can receive a charitable tax receipt for this year.