Gianna Jaworsky, 8, Celiac Disease
How would you explain Celiac Disease to a child?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that affects your tummy and the way your body absorbs nutrients from your food. My body has a reaction if I have anything with gluten (wheat/rye/barley). I can't even have a crumb, or my tummy will get very sick.
What would you want the world to know about Celiac Disease?
When you have Celiac disease, you always have to be gluten free. There are no breaks, cheating days or even trying a bite of something with gluten or else a reaction in your body gets triggered pretty quickly. Gluten free foods taste just as good as ones with gluten and you can always find something to enjoy, it just may take a little extra planning.
What does it feel like to live with Celiac Disease?
I always have to be brave even though it can be hard. I get frustrated at times when I can't have the same things as everyone else (especially at parties). We always have to double check EVERYTHING, even the pots and pans used to make the food (due to cross contamination) so that I can avoid gluten all the time.
What brings you joy?
My family always supports me! They make it up to me if there is gluten around and I cannot have it. Sometimes they will get me an extra-large ice cream or toys so that I do not feel bad. Also, my family likes to spend time baking fun things and trying new recipes so I can enjoy them!