May is Celiac Awareness Month, so I am celebrating by revisiting my diagnosis, and what helped me most to heal.
A little over two years ago I was introduced to the novel “Jennifer’s Way” by Jennifer Esposito. This book changed my life during a very life-changing time. You see, two and a half years ago, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease – a disease that had overtaken my health for my entire life.
Celiac Disease is an auto-immune disorder that affects the villi in your small intestine. These brutal reactions are caused by gluten (found in wheat, barely, rye, and oats) and if left untreated, can lead to a number of terrible fates.
When I received my diagnosis, I was in the middle of my college career. It was difficult to deal with, but overall, the best thing that could have happened to me. I got an answer. I found a way to relieve my health problems and start to put the pieces of my life back together. A big part of the puzzle solving was Jennifer Esposito’s novel.
Jennifer reminded me that I was not alone in the scary world of Celiac Disease, and taught me more than any doctor I had ever spoken to. She assured me that there would be both good and bad days ahead, but more importantly, there would be health.
Not only did Jennifer pen a novel that helped me through some of my most confusing days, but she also continues to lead by example. Jennifer runs a bakery in New York (that I can only hope to travel to one day), encourages people like myself through social media, and fights for the little guy. She knows the importance of awareness, and stands up for our disease every single day.
Jennifer is one of the strongest people that I have ever read about, and I hope to one day be even a fraction as inspiring as she is. There is no question that her advice is the first I turn to after a health setback, and I could never thank her enough for everything she has done.
To get a more thorough look into my Celiac story, check out this video. Recorded just over two years ago, it is crazy to watch back and see how far I have come.