Thursday, April 23, 2015

Gluten and Allergen Free Birthday Wishes to the One Who Started It All - We Celebrate Your Life

My daughter, Erin, is 14 years old today. This isn't national news, but if it weren't for her, I would not have known about the gluten-free lifestyle to begin with and Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Events would not be in existence. Her celiac disease diagnosis in 2008 sent us hurtling into an unknown void of special dietary requirements. Because of her struggles, I became a R.O.C.K. (Raising Our Celiac Kids) leader in 2009. Because she missed so many foods, we started doing expos in Charlotte NC and now all over the United States.

As she grows into a young woman, she takes on the role of advocate and helper to her younger fellow celiacs and others who attend the events. Being that her school has only 175 students enrolled, she is a trail blazer for them to understand dietary needs and most of the time she gets through it without emotional issues. But, she has endured her share of being forgotten in planning, snide comments from school mates, and feeling different as all of our kids do. Despite it all, she is an honor student, enjoys traveling to do events a whole bunch, has aspirations to become an artist, and is already a musician - Pretty amazing stuff for a 14 year old to have accomplished.

Thousands of people all over this nation are glad you are who you are Erin.