I spent most of my childhood sick almost every night, but otherwise feeling healthy. I was diagnosed with “possible” celiac disease at age 8 after an endoscopy, because my blood tests and endoscopy results were inconclusive. I began my journey at CHOP, but without a positive diagnosis, I was not put on a complete gluten-free diet until age 12 when another endoscopy finally confirmed that I had celiac disease.
I remember the first thing going through my mind was I did not want to be “that kid” in school and, as I was approaching the Bar and Bat Mitzvah season, I was faced with the hard reality of how difficult the gluten-free diet can really be to follow and how challenging it is to get others to understand what it is, as well as how it works. I especially found it hard at a young age when I didn’t have the confidence to speak up for myself.
I learned how to deal with having celiac disease while also finding new and exciting foods to eat. I now hope to help others and share my story.