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Since May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month, it’s a big month in our community. All month long, we’ll be celebrating our gluten free family and sharing helpful tips, facts and delicious recipes! We’re also highlighting one of our amazing partners – the Celiac Disease Foundation! This month, we interviewed Laura Boone, the Development Manager of the Foundation, to learn more about her role in the gluten free community.

Enjoy Life: What is the mission of the Celiac Disease Foundation, and when was it founded?

Laura: Founded 27 years ago, the Celiac Disease Foundation is the nation’s leading disease advocacy organization for celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. We accelerate diagnosis, treatments, and a cure through research, education, and advocacy to improve the quality of life for all those affected.

Enjoy Life: What is your role at the Foundation?

Laura: As the Development Manager for the Foundation, I cultivate meaningful relationships and ensure the community is consistently informed about the Foundation’s research, education, and advocacy initiatives.

Enjoy Life: How does the Foundation work with partners like Enjoy Life?

Laura: We are proud to partner with Enjoy Life to help educate the community about celiac disease and the safe gluten free options for those who need it most. We acknowledge our relationship by highlighting Enjoy Life’s gluten free products and recipes on the Foundation’s website, Gluten-Free Marketplace, Eat! Gluten-Free App, and social media channels. Together, our voices are stronger and our community outreach is greater.

Enjoy Life: What can you tell us of the research being done for celiac disease?

Laura: There are more than two million Americans suffering from celiac disease who have not been diagnosed, and researchers estimate that the prevalence of celiac disease is doubling in our population every 15 years. Our most urgent focus is supporting research for celiac disease diagnosis and treatments through our iCureCeliac® patient registry, direct funding of biomedical research at some of the nation’s leading academic medical research centers, and a major patient engagement initiative to educate patients, researchers, policymakers, and healthcare providers about celiac disease and its challenges.

Enjoy Life: How can our community increase awareness of celiac disease and gluten free resources?

Laura: Get involved with the Celiac Disease Foundation! Join Team Gluten-Free or the Student Ambassador Program to help raise awareness, education, and funds for celiac disease. Utilize our website for helpful resources, and share our social media posts with your community.

Enjoy Life: Any special advice for someone with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity?

Laura: After years of illness, I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2011. Since then, it has become increasingly apparent that I must advocate for myself and educate others about the severity of the disease. Eating gluten free has become trendy for those without celiac disease, but for those who are diagnosed it is the only treatment, and it is imperative. Stay informed and stay positive!

Enjoy Life: What is so special about Enjoy Life to you and your organization?

Laura: We are greatly appreciative of our long-standing relationship with Enjoy Life and their continued support of the Celiac Disease Foundation. Enjoy Life staff is a pleasure to work with and dedicated to providing safe, gluten free options for our community. Enjoy Life’s products prove that adhering to a gluten free diet does not have to be boring or tasteless!