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Thank you Anna, for sharing your beautiful daughter's picture and story:
Jaiden struggled with many symptoms starting at age 2; symptoms that eventually started to control her daily life. Attempts to find answers led to an endoscopy when she was 2 ½ yrs old, but they didn’t biopsy far enough into her small intestine to find anything. When she was 5 her pediatrician thought her symptoms were all connected to nerves due to starting kindergarten. The urologist ran tests and ended up giving her Magnesium citrate for her severe constipation. It took about 8 months of going from doctor to doctor until finally in December of 2010 her parents found a Gastroenterologist that was knowledgeable enough to do blood work (no one else ever thought to) and test for everything. They feared she was diabetic due to the weight loss and frequent urination. It took two long weeks for mom to finally get the blood test results - positive for celiac. Another biopsy was scheduled, revealing damage that put her at the stage of malnutrition. By the time Jaiden was diagnosed she weighed only 4 pounds more than her 2 year old sister. She went from being in the 74th percentile in weight to 14th!
Jaiden started her gluten free diet on January 1st 2011, two and a half years ago. She is now 8 years old and healthy. Celiac affected not only her weight but also her height and behavior. She was diagnosed with ADHD in November of 2010. At her well visit earlier this month it was apparent that both her height and weight are on the rise and her family is hopeful that she will eventually catch up with her peers. As for the ADHD, many of her behavioral issues diminished once she was gluten free, convincing her parents that her behavior was all gluten related and never ADHD at all.
Jaiden is extremely excited to share this book with her class and to donate a copy to her school library.
Prior to Jaiden’s diagnosis her mom and family had never heard of Celiac Disease or gluten - just like so many out there. Dealing with the challenges of her diagnosis encouraged Anna to want to do more to get the word out. She decided to file a proclamation request to Governor Janice Brewer of Arizona. After waiting a year from the time of submission, the Governor approved her proclamation request and proclaimed May to be Celiac Disease Awareness Month in Arizona.
GO ANNA! This is AMAZING!
Does Jaiden's story sound like someone you know? Celiac testing can help avoid years of suffering that way too many of our kids (and adults) are enduring. Help get the word out!