Celiac Disease Diagnosis Changes High School Athlete’s Life

January 16, 2014

Celiac Disease Diagnosis Changes High School Athlete’s Life

High school sophomore Blake Walker made a complete transformation after his childhood celiac disease diagnosis.

Eat. Cry. Cry. Cry. Eat. Cry. Cry. Cry.

Blake Walker’s early childhood was punctuated by food and pain. His mother, Monica, recalls him lying on the couch and crying from the pain after a meal when he was two years old. Blake would sleep for 16 to 18 hours each day and, despite his size at birth, stopped growing and developing. His diet was well-rounded, but he continually experienced intense stomach pain and malnourishment.

Eventually, Blake was diagnosed with celiac disease. It was later determined that his two siblings had the disease as well. Their mother was overjoyed by the diagnosis. As a sports nutritionist, she knew that she was confident that she could change her son’s diet and help him recover. The results were quickly apparent and Blake, now a 6’4’’ and 155 lbs. sophomore at Liberty High School in Oregon, has bounced back.

Despite the anguish that celiac disease has caused him, Blake says the experience made him “more mature.” He learned to explain the autoimmune disease to others and advocate for himself. It also made him a leader. Blake is now the starting quarterback for Liberty High School’s football team and leader of the school’s basketball team. When asked about performing at the college level, Blake talks about it being “in the back of my mind” and weight training to get ready. For now though, he is content to lead his school’s 4-0 basketball team and steer clear of the gluten that caused him so much trouble as a child.

You can read the full story here.