In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease, and since then it has become an invaluable resource to people worldwide who seek information about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.
In 1998 I created The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore! which was also another Internet first—it was the first gluten-free food site to offer a shopping cart-style interface, and the ability for people to order gluten-free products manufactured by many different companies at a single Web site.
I am also co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.
Center for Celiac Research Multi-Center Serological Study Update As of September 1, 1998.
The University of Marylands Center For Celiac Research has received approximately $190,000 in contributions and pledges. Thanks to those of you who have made pledges and gifts, we have been able to purchase and install a dedicated computer system. The six (6) regional centers have begun minimal screening of study participants. Thanks to a partial grant provided by the University of Trieste, we now have one of the leading international experts in entiendomysium celiac disease assisting us full time in our lab.
We have tested 1178 samples as part of the Study for the Prevalence of Celiac Disease in the United States. Our preliminary findings indicate a 6% positive finding of first-degree relatives and 3.4% positive finding of second-degree relatives of Celiacs. These findings are in the same range as were found in most of the European studies done in previous years.
As we initially stated in our protocol, we will need to test a total of 45,000 blood samples. All the tools and players are in place - now we need the necessary dollars to put the study into full operation. Blood testing and shipping charges will increase significantly in direct proportion to the samples processed.
We thank all of you who have made gifts and pledges. The Celiac community has been very supportive of our grass-roots fund-raising effort.
When we began this effort back in May 1997, we suggested that if 1000 Celiacs, relatives or friends would make a commitment to pledge $200 per year for three (3) years we would be on our way to funding this extremely important study.
To date we have received ONLY 122 pledges in the amount of $70,335. We have also received a significant number of cash contributions, and as previously announced we were blessed to receive a generous gift of $50,000 from the Oberkotter Foundation.
For now, we cannot count on any financial assistance from the NIH. So once again asking YOU to please help us. Remember we are not asking you to make a contribution, but to make an investment in the well being of every Celiac - now and in the future.
Call (410) 706-8021 for any questions or assistance.
All donations and pledges should be made payable to the UM Foundation, Inc. - Center for Celiac Research, Attention: Pamela King, Director of External Affairs, 700 W. Lombard Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201. These funds are being managed by the UM Foundation, Inc. Thank you again for your commitment to this invaluable research.