Hi. My name is Jillian Izzie, but my mom and dad call me J-Dog. I am 3 years old now and since I can remember mom and dad have told me I have a special belly. They also tell me that I am incredibly lucky because my doctor diagnosed me with celiac disease when I was only 18 months. Many people wait several years to get the correct diagnosis of celiac disease. Because I have celiac I can’t eat anything that has gluten in it. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Geez, gluten can hide in the silliest of places. There is wheat in most licorice. When I eat anything that has gluten in it I get sick and I am not able to absorb all of the good stuff in food like Vitamin D and Iron (mom tells me this “iron” is different than the “iron” that gets hot and removes wrinkles). Mommy also tells me that my gorgeous (her word not mine) curly hair appeared shortly after starting my gluten free diet. My body must have been so happy to finally be getting the nutrients it needs.
I want to help other kids and families. I want to make sure they are as lucky as me and get diagnosed quickly and that the world gets educated about celiac disease. I can go to watch the Phillies play (with my Daddy of course) and get gluten free food at the stadium, but not every kid with celiac is as lucky. Gluten free food isn’t available everywhere. This needs to change and I would love your help to make this change. I am now an Awareness All Star for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA). I am trying to raise money to ensure the community gets educated about celiac disease. I promise no donation is too small. I speak from experience; good things come in small packages. And please share with this with your friends and family. It is estimated that 1 in 133 people has celiac disease. The more people we can educate the better. I hope I can count on you for support.
From the bottom of my heart, “please” and “thank you.”