To summarize the end of Celiac Awareness Month (the good, the bad, the ugly – and as always, there was all three), I was going to write a poem. Why?
- I like writing poems.
- I wrote one to summarize CAW a few years back and thought it would be a good idea again.
- I need to give my creative juices a kick in the ass a bit.
- It’s really none of your business.
- Just kidding.
But when I checked my email this morning, I received an email that to me summarizes what celiac awareness is all about; and how we can make a difference where it’s least expected. Here’s the email (and no it’s not to pat myself on the back…shame on you.)
Ok…that’s not what it said. Here you go:
I just wanted to thank you for the perspective this blog offers. I have been told I “probably” have celiac but I am still awaiting the results of my endoscopy. I found your blog researching my (potential) diagnosis.
Regardless of the result, this blog has given me perspective on something very close to home: my younger sister was allergic to EVERYTHING before she became a vegan, and that includes the sun. My parents did everything they could when we were growing up to make sure she had special cakes and ice creams so she wouldn’t feel left out at birthday parties. She’s a very quiet person and until I read all the things the celiac community was saying on your blog, I never understood the social isolation she probably felt all those years when we could jump in the pool and she had to stand under an umbrella.
People have given her a lot of crap about becoming vegan, but it’s saved her life. She doesn’t get eczema, she can go out in the sun without a golf umbrella, and she doesn’t miss out on family time from being sick.
So….thank you. Whether I end up having celiac disease or not I’m so thankful I found your blog because it helped me connect with and support my sister in a way I couldn’t before.
One final note – I overheard the youth pastor at church last week saying that he told a kid’s mom he couldn’t go on the church annual retreat because the kid had too many dietary requirements. I felt horrible for that kid, and after discovering your blog I realized I need to start a program at church specifically for people that need dietary accommodations during church events.
Thanks for sharing, curating other people’s stories, and inspiring us to help others!
How. Awesome. Is. That.
So I ask you to open your eyes, open your ears and open your mouths. We don’t need to shout CELIAC from the rooftops…and since I live on the 25th floor, no one would hear me anyway…but if someone asks you about your disease, use that opportunity to educate, even just a little bit. Every little bit can and will make a difference.
Many thanks to all of you. I love this community.