Shelley Lorraine Cross, 46, of Losantville, died unexpectedly Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at IU Health Ball Hospital in Muncie following a lengthy but courageous battle with Celiac Disease.
Did I know this person? I did not.
But a few things struck me when I saw this article.
Mainly that she died after a long battle with celiac disease.
Look…I’ve done all the reading. I know how dangerous celiac disease can be. I know it can lead to other very serious illnesses, especially if untreated.
But even knowing all of this, I never quite relate it to a disease that can kill you.
I’m not sure why I feel this way.
Is it denial? Perhaps.
Five years ago, when I was diagnosed with celiac disease, bladder cancer and a pulmonary embolism in an 18 month stretch, I really thought it was the beginning of the end for me. I honestly just didn’t think my body would last another few years.
But here I am, five years later, and I’m not going anywhere. My body sure feels like death sometimes, but overall, I would say my health is good.
But this article was just a stark reminder that celiac is a very,very serious disease that can indeed kill you.
This is one of the main reasons I want the conversation to move away from the gluten-free diet and onto the disease itself.
And I know I can be a wise-ass. I know I rant about the celebrity gluten free craze and I can be lighthearted about the disease at times.
Perhaps this is my own form of therapy.
But for those of you who may take the disease more lightly than you should…
For those of you who still cheat once in a while and indulge yourself with a piece of pizza “just this one time”…
For those of you who think dying of celiac “can’t happen to me”…
Please remember Shelley Lorraine Cross, change your way of thinking and lead a long healthy life.
Oh…and the other thing that struck me when I read this article?
She was 46…the same as me.