Isabella CardonaThe Voices of Celiac Disease

“I was diagnosed while living in SE Asia, where there was not much awareness.”

A photo of Isabella.

Hello! I’m Isabella and I am originally from Valencia, Spain. I was diagnosed with celiac disease when I was 14 years old.

Getting Diagnosed

I was living in the Philippines at the time, and it was a big adjustment; I was the first in my family to be diagnosed, going into high school, and living in SE Asia, where there was not much awareness. I often struggled to find a balance between being so cautious that I lived in fear and living a “normal” life. 

I then moved to Boston for college, and living on my own with an autoimmune disease came with a whole new set of challenges. When my symptoms persisted even on a strict diet, I realized there are a host of conditions associated with celiac disease—it really does affect every system in the body. Because of this I started taking my mental health more seriously.

However, the gluten-free diet is currently the only treatment for celiac disease. It leaves us urgently in need of new treatments.

Creating a World Beyond Celiac

I graduated from Northeastern University in 2022 where I studied chemical engineering. As one of the world hubs for biotechnology, I stayed in Boston post-graduation for work. I am passionate about the potential for breakthroughs in the space so we can develop and accelerate life-changing therapies for autoimmune diseases. I’m excited to help Beyond Celiac accomplish its goal to get treatments for celiac disease by 2030.

Throughout the years I have learned so much (many things the hard way) and I hope as a Reach Beyond Celiac Ambassador I can do my part in easing others through the transition to a gluten-free life. I’m always happy to meet others in the community, so please reach out! Together, we can overcome the barriers to healthier and happier lives.