I wanted to start a ‘real’ support group – but at first I found this to be a daunting task. Within the year, however, I did it - the Belleville (Illinois) Area Celiac Support Group was formed. We had montly meetings with food, with speakers – (including Dr. Kenneth Fine, a representative from the University of Chicago, and Shelley Case, author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide) I drove home from each gathering on such a ‘high’!. I sure wish I had pictures - but that was before I had a digital camera - and back when I was much more technology challenged, lol
needed to form a meeting for a group of dietitians for professional development. We collaborated for a memorable meeting. After hearing stories told by support group members, the dietitians decided to work with us to create a menu guide for those newly diagnosed, our “Two Week Survival Menu Guide.” LOVED IT! By this time I had met several fabulous women who became a huge part of the development of this menu guide - and who I still call friends. We met several times to provide a guide we believed would best help newly diagnosed patients and the dietitians made certain it met all the dietary needs. Several meetings later, our support group and dietitians' group had formed a survival menu guide. It has transformed since its original development as a dietitian maintains it and keeps it current. I have not had any involvement in it for years now. Here is what it looks like today: Gluten Free Survival Guide
time. I had a growing desire for our group to expand and join in the annual Celiac Walk in May, joining forces with the University of Maryland’s Celiac Disease Center. I did not have that
energy to coordinate such an event however – until – that one WONDERFUL meeting when someone new joined us (Kate) - with all her new, fresh energy and paper in hand that gave information about the Celiac Walk. We quickly became friends.
And – that summer before this all started – I met Steve.
understanding from family, day care providers, teachers, etc. And this idea for this children’s book had me leaping for joy! I couldn’t wait to get home to write the idea down. Which I did – and where it stayed, tucked away.
So – life was too busy to put into this little book that I envisioned could make a BIG impact for boys and girls.
In 2008, Steve and I got married. In 2009 we built our home together. And in 2010, after teaching for three years, I lost the job I loved so much when Illinois state budget cuts caused my school to close my classroom. A roller coaster. I HATE roller coasters, yet …. I can’t seem to get off the one I’m on. Guess I don’t really want it to stop – cause isn't that life? - a giant rollercoaster?
Of course – letting others know it was available was (and continues to be) another thing. Lol
And then in 2013, I altered the cover one last time. I also decided to make another version - a "girl" version. And in this process had a fun name contest. So now there are two permanent versions, as pictured below.