I am taking this opportunity to thank just one of the many people who have helped me through my own celiac disease diagnosis and through the process of starting NFCA. After visiting countless doctors, I finally received my diagnosis of celiac disease in 1994. Shortly after, the gastroenterologist who diagnosed me retired from his practice and I began to see Dr. Anthony J. DiMarino, currently the Director of the Celiac Center at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.
Before being diagnosed with celiac disease, I suffered through multiple miscarriages. Dr. DiMarino and I suspected my experience with miscarriages were directly linked to undiagnosed celiac disease. Together, we poured over European research which confirmed our suspicion and started us on the path to publish a paper on reproductive health and celiac disease so we could help others who were struggling like I was. Words can’t describe how grateful I was to meet a doctor I could trust. Dr. DiMarino always listened to me and gave me hope that things could be different for those of us living with celiac disease. This fueled my desire to start NFCA even more; I knew I had to raise awareness of this autoimmune disease and help others like me find the help they needed, too.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Here is a photo of Dr. DiMarino and me at NFCA’s 10th Anniversary Celebration in October 2013. Thank you, Dr. DiMarino, for taking me seriously and for helping me on my quest to understand the many implications and complications of undiagnosed celiac disease so we can spread the message to others.
- Alice Bast
President & CEO of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA)