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Monday, September 12, 2011
Celebrate Celiac Awareness Day
Tomorrow is Celiac Awareness Day. In 2010, a resolution was passed in the U. S. Senate, making September 13 National Celiac Disease Awareness Day.

How are you going to celebrate Celiac Awareness day?

Here is a list of ways to celebrate from the NFCA:

1. Share the Celiac Symptoms Checklist. Send the checklist to 10 friends. Odds are, at least one of them will have an “Aha!” moment and recognize the symptoms in a family member, neighbor or friend.

2. Play a role in research. The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is looking for relatives of celiacs to test a new self-administered blood test. It’s your chance to finally convince your mother, brother, or another family member to take the test once and for all. (Update: Study has been filled. Thank you to all who signed up!)

3. Go for a run. Restoring health isn’t just about making the dietary switch to gluten-free; it’s also about embracing your new lease on life. I’ll be here when you get back.

4. Or, support a fellow celiac while he runs. On September 24, Athlete for Awareness Peter Bronski will run 50 miles and scale 10,000 feet for the 2nd year in a row – all to raise money for NFCA. Donate to help him reach his goal.

5. Tell your doctor “Sorry” isn’t good enough. How many doctor appointments did you waste complaining of symptoms before you finally got diagnosed? End the cycle of misdiagnosis once and for all: Print the Celiac CME postcard from our website and urge your doctor to take NFCA’s free course on celiac disease.

6. Expand your dining options. If you know a restaurant that needs gluten-free training, now’s the time to act. Print the GREAT Kitchens information sheet from our website and bring it to the restaurant. As an incentive, tell the manager how many friends and support group members are just waiting to find a new gluten-free hot spot.

7. Be a part of something big. Sign 1in133.org's Letter to the FDA regarding the proposed gluten-free labeling rule. It’s one way to tell the FDA to keep moving and stop stalling when it comes to gluten-free safety.

8. Have a party. Bake some gluten-free cupcakes. Put out a bowl for donations. Voila! Instant Cupcake Party Fundraiser. (It’s really that easy.)

9. Head to class. Ask your child’s teacher if you can have a special Celiac Awareness Day at school. Read a celiac disease children’s book, then take questions from the kids. If your child’s school allows it, bring in gluten-free snacks for everyone to try. While you’re there, encourage the cafeteria staff to get gluten-free training through NFCA’s GREAT Schools program.

10. Sharpen your cooking skills. You never stop learning, so take advantage of NFCA’s library of free gluten-free cooking videos. The videos not only have step-by-step instructions, but also give you helpful tips, like how to sneak veggies into a dessert.

11. Make a new friend. If you’re not on Facebook or Twitter yet, get moving! The staff and I have met tons of new people through social media, and there’s sure to be a lot of exciting chats and activities for Celiac Awareness Day.

12. Try something GREAT. NFCA’s GREAT Business Association members are huge supporters of the celiac and gluten-free community. Encourage their continued involvement by picking up one of their products. (Make sure to tweet about it!)

13. Prepare future advocates. We’ve made incredible progress, but it’s up to our kids to keep that going. Teach them the joy of volunteering and advocacy by helping them contribute to Kids Central. They can sign up for the Letter Writing Fundraiser, share a gluten-free recipe, or submit a product review for kids.

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