Kenzie GoldsteenThe Voices of Celiac Disease

“I was diagnosed at three […] but as I have gotten older I have found it more difficult to go out with friends.”

A photo of Kenzie standing in front of a wall of flowers.

Hi, I’m Kenzie Goldsteen. I am 14 years old and I live in Bethesda, Maryland. I was diagnosed with celiac disease at the age of three. After struggling with pain in my stomach and not growing properly, I visited the doctor and had multiple complex visits until they did a biopsy, which led me to be diagnosed with celiac disease. Following that experience, my parents and I went to more doctor appointments to further discuss and learn about celiac disease and how to navigate the gluten-free diet.

When I was first diagnosed I did not find it hard to deal with it or understand it, partly because I was very young. But as I have gotten older, I have found it more difficult to go out with friends and go to dinners with them. It has also been a challenge to explain to people what celiac disease is when they ask. It requires a long and detailed explanation that most people don’t understand.

As an ambassador for Beyond Celiac, I want to be more involved in educating restaurant staff, grocery store employees, and regular people about what celiac disease is and how to make their facilities safer and more accessible for people with this condition.

Becoming gluten-free has also challenged me to advocate for myself more. I have found a love of cooking since being diagnosed with celiac disease and I love to cook with my family and friends. I love trying new recipes and challenging myself with harder dishes that I might not be able to get in many restaurants. In my free time, I also enjoy spending time with my friends and family, and I like to play sports. I am very excited to be a part of the Ambassador program and hope to help others navigate through their challenges, questions, or confusion about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.