Julia is 10 years old and has celiac disease.
Julia Finkel, age 10, has volunteered with NFCA. She talked to us about what makes her want to volunteer, what she’s liked most about it, and more.
1. When were you diagnosed with celiac disease? What were some of your symptoms?
In 1st grade. My belly was hurting and I was gassy.
2. How do you tell your friends you have celiac?
I say I have an allergy and can’t have gluten (wheat, barley, rye).
3. Do you feel as if other people are knowledgeable about celiac disease (ex: teachers or friends parents)?
If I tell them [about celiac], it’s more than once. I have to explain if they touch cake, then they can’t touch my food after.
4. You’ve volunteered for NFCA . What makes you want to give back to the community?
I just want people to know what it is. It’s not super bad; diseases are bad, but I just want people to understand.
5. What have you liked about volunteering?
I like feeling that I’m doing something good.
6. If you and/or NFCA could change one thing about celiac awareness in the world, what would it be?
In my opinion, I’d say that everyone could understand and learn about the disease in school.
7. What advice would you give to a child who had just been diagnosed with celiac disease?
That it’s not that bad; there are worse things that you can have. They [the gluten-free industry] have some really good food.
8. What are some of your favorite gluten-free foods?
Gluten-free cupcakes, cakes, and brownies. I really like the restaurant Grandma’s Grotto.