Youth Take On Celiac Disease Through Outreach Program
Last month was Celiac Disease Awareness Month. While Celiac is one of the most common autoimmune diseases, experts at the Seattle Children’s Hospital estimate that for every diagnosis, eight cases are overlooked.
As a result, the hospital has put together an outreach program that allows youth with Celiac disease the opportunity to raise awareness, organize support groups, and mentor other youth with the disease.
There are currently 11 youth members on the Celiac Youth Leadership Council (CYLC), and one of their current initiatives is running a gluten-free food drive for a local food bank.
The most common symptoms of Celiac disease include abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, weight loss, nausea, and fatigue. Other symptoms include anemia, joint pain, arthritis, osteoporosis, peripheral neuropathy, seizures, canker sores, skin rashes, fatigue, depression and anxiety. In children, the disease can also cause irritability, stunted growth, delayed puberty, and dental damage.
To learn more, click here.
7-year-old with Rare Autoimmune Disease Needs Life-saving Bone Marrow
Asaya Bullock, a 7-year-old boy from New York, is searching for a donor willing to donate matching bone marrow.
Asaya was born with a rare, life-threatening autoimmune disease called IPEX syndrome. Symptoms include joint pain, body aches, memory loss, fatigue and stomach problems. Doctors said he had two years to live, but, miraculously, he is still alive seven years later.
A bone marrow transplant would greatly help Asaya’s condition; however, since he is of mixed ancestry (part African part Caribbean), finding a matching donor is proving to be a challenge. According to Be the Match, an organization that operates the world’s largest bone marrow registry, the more genetically diverse an individual is, the more difficult it is to find a matching donor.
To learn more about Asaya’s story and how you can join the Be the Match registry, click here.
Australian Woman Describes Her Journey with Multiple Sclerosis
Monique Bolland, 36, from Australia, shares her story living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Bolland was first diagnosed with this incurable autoimmune disease when she was just 22. At the time, she didn’t quite comprehend the severity of her diagnosis.
She says that she first realized how bad her MS symptoms were when she was cutting bread and accidentally cut her hand, but didn’t even notice as a result of the nerve damage and numbness caused by the disease.
MS impacts an estimated 2.5 million people worldwide, and 70% of MS patients are female. Symptoms include impaired motor function, numbness, fatigue, heat sensitivity, optic nerve damage, and more.
Bolland says that living a healthy lifestyle is imperative to managing her MS symptoms. This includes consuming a diet rich in vitamins D, B12 and omega-3 fatty acids, reducing stress and inflammation, and staying active. She also gets monthly injections of Tysabri, an immunosuppressive drug. In addition, she launched a nutrition supplement and health product line called Nuzest with her father, which supports MS research.
To learn more about Bolland’s story, click here.
Actress Nicole Beharie Exits Show due to Autoimmune Disease
Nicole Beharie, famed actress on Fox’s hit show, Sleepy Hollow, confessed to fans on Instagram that she left the show abruptly as a result of an autoimmune disease she has been keeping secret for the last five years.
Although Beharie didn’t reveal the exact autoimmune condition she has, she states that it caused her to experience skin rashes and fluctuations in her weight. As a result, her character on the show, FBI agent Abby Mills, was killed off in the season 3 finale, allowing her to take a much-needed break for her health.
Beharie says setting boundaries and limitations, as well as changing her diet, were key to improving her physical and mental state.
To read more about her story, click here.
Dallas Cowboys Frontman Tackles Autoimmune Condition and Injuries
Travis Frederick, the Dallas Cowboys’ all-star center, revealed that he suffers from an autoimmune condition called Guillain-Barre syndrome. This caused him to miss playing an entire NFL football season, while a backup played in his place. He also revealed he had two surgeries during this time.
Frederick is now expected to return to the starting lineup this upcoming season. However, since he is still experiencing lingering effects of Guillain-Barre, he is being brought back on to the field slowly.
To learn more about Frederick’s story, click here.