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CNN Newsroom Anchor Heidi Collins to be Official Spokesperson for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

Celiac.com 11/28/2006 - The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is thrilled to announce that CNN Newsroom Anchor Heidi Collins has signed on as the foundation’s official spokesperson.

As a fellow celiac and a member of the news media, Heidi will bring a wealth of knowledge to NFCA. Every weekday, Heidi anchors CNN Newsroom from 9am-Noon EST. Previously she has provided in-depth reports for Anderson Cooper 360°, Paula Zahn Now, and The Situation Room, as well as served as a news anchor for CNN’s American Morning. Heidi has received three Edward R. Murrow awards as well as an Associated Press Award in the best documentary category.

Heidi’s journey with celiac disease began shortly after she finished graduate school and began her first television job as an anchor at a station in Wichita Falls, Texas. About one year after she started this job, she learned she was pregnant, news that thrilled both Heidi and her husband Matt. The couple kept the secret for quite some time, but finally six months into the pregnancy, Heidi announced on air that she would be having a baby. Sadly, just a few weeks after announcing her pregnancy, Heidi lost the baby. She received very little explanation from her doctors about why the tragic loss had occurred other than from fetal demise.

During Heidi’s next television job in Colorado Springs, she developed a near fatal blood clot in her leg. After four months in the hospital and arterial bypass surgery, a vascular surgeon told Heidi she would never be able to have children. The doctor explained that her blood vessels would not be able to handle the strain of a pregnancy. Heidi and Matt were devastated.

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Heidi’s next television job brought the couple to Denver, where after a lengthy search, they found a high-risk obstetrician who felt that having a child would not be impossible after all. Nine months later, two injections a day of blood-thinner and constant observation by a team of physicians, Heidi gave birth to her son Riley. She says it was the happiest day of her life.

However, Heidi continued to deal with stomach pains, severe headaches and anemia. The constant health issues grew nearly intolerable as she moved to CNN’s New York office. She continued visiting doctors until finally after 15 years of one health problem after another, her general practitioner diagnosed her with celiac disease. With one simple blood test, Heidi had found a diagnosis that would allow her to work toward a cure for her chronic medical conditions and an answer as to why her pregnancy had failed.

“Through being the spokesperson for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, I hope to significantly reduce the time it takes for people with celiac disease to be accurately diagnosed and empower people to reclaim their health and restore their lives,” Collins said. “It is through the power of my personal story and my ongoing struggle with celiac disease that I hope to encourage people to get tested and make a positive change in their lives.”

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising celiac awareness and funds for research. NFCA is made up of professionals, medical specialists, and volunteers—all dedicated to working with leading researchers around the world to better understand celiac disease. Visit www.celiaccentral.org or call 202-904-7865 for further information.

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That's good to know about Texas Children's, unfortunately I don't believe they accept our insurance. Our former pediatrician joined with one of their medical groups and we had to find a new one due to insurance. I'll check out their site though.

Texas children's hospital in the med center has a celiac center now. https://www.texaschildrens.org/departments/celiac-disease-clinic Good luck!

this is a very common subject on here. personally, most of my tests were negative, but i did the same thing you did (stopped eating gluten before the tests) my gi advised me to continue eating gluten free because i was so malnourished and when i stopped the gluten i actually began to gain weight. in other words, i think she was afraid for me to do the challenge bc it might kill me lolz. some people want a definite dx if they have kids that need to be tested in the future, some will not follow a strict g//f diet without a firm diagnosis (they think they can cheat just bc they were never formally diagnosed) what happened with my scope is the dr saw evidence of damage. that and my response to the diet were enough for me. she advised me to stay gluten-free and i agreed. it's been tough sometimes, but i never purposely cheated (that's how near death i was - swore i was dying of the big 'c'.......what a relief to not have that and my 'chemo' is 'impasta'. or fake bread. ) welcome to the forum and good luck with whatever you choose

I'm already noticing a difference after five days on the gluten-free diet...acid reflux is gone and stomach pain is getting better. I am glad you're going to try the gluten-free diet, Vanillabean, and get copies of all your results. I hope you find some relief from the pain soon! I'm still waiting for my biopsy results. I did call my doctor's office today and found out the genetic test was positive for a celiac gene (DQ8). My doctor was hoping to rule out celiac with that test, but now it's still up in the air. Still waiting.

meeeeeee!!!! i used to get pneumonia every single winter!!!! and all the flus and colds, etc - i am surrounded by kids and germs, but when they all get the flu, i do not. my husband (mr-play-through-the-pain) even got knocked down (spent 2-3 days in BED miserable) by the last round of virus, but not me. not to mention no headaches, no migraines, etc. hormones and the dreaded menopause, like hellodee2 said, is a whole 'nother ballgame lolz glad you are feeling better