After having had an experience in the hospital where the autoimmune disease checklist did not even include ‘Celiac’, and waking up in post op to a nurse trying to feed me crackers (let’s note that I wrote in big red letters: “CELIAC” across the autoimmune page), I realized we have a bigger problem on our hands. Many hospitals are not properly educated on this disease. Also many schools are left lacking in proper structure and preparedness for that matter. School lunches for our growing youth should be edible for celiacs and down right better for everyone. That is why I’ve started The Jennifer’s Way Foundation for Celiac Education. To strive to make big changes for the sake of our own health and for future generations.
The Jennifer’s Way Foundation for Celiac Education (JWF) is dedicated to the advancement of awareness, research and education of celiac disease. Funding will support three primary causes to positively impact the lives of the celiac and gluten-intolerant communities:
- Awareness Initiative
- Support campaigns and projects that strengthen awareness on celiac disease and healthy gluten living among consumers and media
- Support specialists, clinicians, providers and researchers focused on the study of celiac disease and its health impact before and post-diagnosis
- Advocacy Programs
- Support key opinion leaders and institutions working with regulatory agencies on the need to update laws pertaining to packaging, labeling, and marketing of gluten-free ingredients in consumer packaged goods and pharmaceuticals
Through the foundation, my mission is to elevate this debilitating autoimmune disease into the national spotlight. I will also continue to share my personal journey so that I can inspire and help all of us become empowered celiacs.
Funding for Jennifer’s Way Foundation for Celiac Education will come from various areas that includes proceeds from my personal projects in support of the organization, annual fund drives, private contributions and other fundraising events.
Currently, the foundation is awaiting 501(c)(3) status which is expected in early Spring 2013.