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Lucie Diagle: Nurse, Musician, Volunteer



This month, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is very pleased to honor Lucie Daigle as the Awareness Advocate of the Month.  

Hailing from the province of Quebec, Canada, Lucie brings her Canadian healthcare training to the celiac awareness venue.  This is a perfect fit, as the Canadian system focuses on health promotion and disease prevention rather than the “disease and curative” model used in the US. Lucie’s nursing training at McGill University was focused on the impact that illness/wellness can have on the entire family.  

Serving as a teacher in nursing school makes working with NFCA a perfect fit. After all, raising awareness involves “teaching” healthcare professionals and the general public about celiac disease, its associated disorders, and the way forward to a healthy lifestyle

A big draw for Lucie in the field of celiac disease is that there is a “natural” treatment.   There is no need for a pharmaceutical ”cure” or an invasive intervention—just a gluten-free diet for life.

Lucie’s involvement with NFCA stems from her enduring friendship with Alice Bast, NFCA’s founder and executive director.  This year, Lucie decided to “get back to her roots” in healthcare and began to look for meaningful opportunities in the public health arena. Learning about NFCA and the goal of raising awareness of celiac disease, Lucie decided to volunteer in this field where she knew she truly could make a difference.

And, what a difference she has made!

Most recently, Lucie served as the very able chair of the NFCA Gluten-Free Cooking Spree held in Philadelphia on June 23rd at the Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing. Leading a team of energetic volunteers, Lucie staged an evening of fabulous gluten-free food and beverages, a cooking competition and raising awareness of celiac disease all with a fabulous musical accompaniment.

Lucie Daigle, NFCA volunteer, and Dorothy Binswanger, NFCA Board of Directors, with John Ingersoll, co-owner of the Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop, a supporter of NFCA and our events, as pictured in a recent article in the Chestnut Hill Local.

In sharp contrast to her career in nursing and public health, Lucie is a professional musician performing at functions throughout the Philadelphia Area and beyond. She plays in a band with her very musical husband, Philadelphia attorney Richard Tuttle. Music runs in the Daigle-Tuttle family.  Lucie’s daughter, Catherine Tuttle, is a professional singer/songwriter with a CD entitled "What They Will Find" to her credit. For ten years, Lucie left healthcare temporarily to work in the music business managing her daughter’s career.  

Lucie’s performance skills serve her well as she meets the public in raising awareness for celiac disease.  One of her primary goals as an NFCA volunteer is to work with healthcare professionals to make sure that celiac disease is on their diagnostic radar. She has heard far too many stories about celiac sufferers who went from doctor to doctor without having their symptoms recognized, a situation she believes can be remedied with good publicity and perseverance.  

Asked what her dream for the future of celiac disease, Lucie responded immediately by saying. “I want celiac disease to be so well known that it would be caught at the very beginning to prevent complications and unnecessary suffering.”  Of course, she hopes for much more research. Since we know the trigger for celiac disease, she knows that there can be advances elsewhere for other autoimmune disorders.  And, she wants more research into the benefits of a gluten-free diet beyond celiac disease. She truly believes that the positive impact of this way of life is yet to be discovered. Best of all, it is a treatment that is non-invasive!

We thank Lucie for her energy and enthusiasm and, even more, for sharing her expertise with NFCA and our associates across the country. Lucie is an exemplar of volunteerism and advocacy at its finest.

Merci, Lucie!