Beginning in 1983 my body began to deteriorate. It began with tendons which would not grow, wounds which would not heal, and illnesses I could not shake. My health disturbed my development and education, with repeated hospitalizations and changes in colleges. However, the greatest difficultly was a perilous pregnancy and delivery of a wonderful, yet wounded child. Malabsorption, due to misdiagnosis, denied my baby nutrients needed to develop.
Although my tale can be used for change, my child is now healthy, and my life was graciously led towards the adoption of two magnificent children; it was still painful and financially devastating. Celiac disease affects roughly 1% of Americans. 95% are undiagnosed. Many are struggling through daily turmoil like mine. Celiac disease, while, manifested in the small intestine can affect and destroy any system in the body. Screening tools are available! The treatment is clear - no surgery, chemo, nor pills. Just a 100% gluten-free diet for life.
The average length from onset of symptoms until diagnosis is 9 years. For me, it was 17! At age 5, Grant, was also diagnosed after screening. And the biggest miracles, our son Marco, who came to our family through adoption ,was diagnosed when he was 4 after experiencing textbook symptoms and our little Maya, who also came to us through adoption, has the genetic predisposition. They all got the right mom and I got the right kids.