Body – where to start? If you have come to this point and have a positive diagnosis of celiac disease then you realize that all those symptoms were screams for help from you body. A gluten allergy and sensitivity causes plenty of discomfort but full on celiac disease causes damage. As you probably already know, the villi (which is in charge of taking in nutrients from food and feeding you body) have been damaged at this point. Only time and a strict gluten free diet will reverse that within year or two. However a gluten free diet must be maintained to stay well. What to do in the meantime? How do we get the nutrients our bodies are so depleted of? How do we calm our destroyed, annoyed, inflamed digestive system? How do we deal with some of the repercussions of this disease? Depending on how long you went undiagnosed, will determine how much damage was done. These were some of my questions that were either unanswered or vaguely answered by doctors and nutritionists. So again, I took matters into my own hands.

*Important – please remember I am in NO WAY a doctor. I am just a person who was suffering and needed to find a way to feel better. These suggestions worked for me. Hopefully they will give you ideas to help yourself. Or at least ask better questions to your health provider.

First thing that must be done:
Vitamin D. You must have a slew of blood work done and demand (if not given freely) all vitamin and mineral levels checked. The #1 deficiency with Celiacs is a Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is essential for your bones. Testing for early osteoporosis is important as well! It is vital to replenish that Vitamin D and fast.

Fact  - Vitamin D is linked to depression, joint and muscle pain, chronic fatigue, skin pigmentation and now studies have shown a possible link to Alzheimer’s.

Here is what I did:
I was put on 2000mg of vitamin D a day. Your doctor should tell you how much is right for you. You can find Vitamin D in fish (herring, catfish, salmon, trout, halibut, sardines, mackerel), fish liver oils, egg yolks, fortified dairy and grains, and 15-20 minutes of sunlight.

Because my digestion was so inflamed and sluggish, I opted for liquid or powder vitamins. I did this (and still do) because my body didn’t have to work as hard to break down the pills. Some supplements can even go under your tongue for faster absorption. I was so depleted of Vitamin D among so many other vitamins that it was necessary for me at first to be administered vitamins through intravenous. This can only be done by a doctor. My levels of vitamin D were so low that I remember coming in out of the sun just a half an hour to find a weird rash all over my arms and face. I found out, again through my own reading and investigation, that it was caused by my lack of vitamin D. Celiac disease, as you know, is an auto immune disease, so your immune system is on high alert. So the Vitamin D that I had absorbed from the sun that day was entering into an autoimmune system that was ready to attack it. My body looked at it as an invader because my Vitamin D was so low it didn’t recognize it as a friend.

Assuming your Doctor has told you what your specific needs are in terms of vitamins. Vitamin C and a multi-vitamin is necessary.

Here is what I did every morning to make sure the basics were met:
I made a smoothie of 1 cup water or hemp or almond milk, one banana, and handful of blueberries, blackberries – whatever is fresh and organic, my liquid Vitamin D, 1 heaping tbls of All One (a rice based soy, gluten 100% pure multi and mineral powder packed with vitamins), and some Vitamin C. YUM!!!

Another big issue with celiac disease is inflammation! A year before my diagnosis the inflammation under my eyes was insane. I always experienced bloating but the under eye swelling would lead to sinus infections all the time, constant headaches, dark circles under my eyes and brain fog. I couldn’t even think when this would happen, it really became debilitating. I went from doctor to doctor with more and more antibiotics prescribed. One doctor even suggested a surgery that would open up the small bridge of my nose to make my sinus drain better. Another doctor wanted to release the same pressure by drilling holes through my eyebrows. Sounds good huh? The bloating in the stomach, well that is from a digestive system that is over worked, mad, inflamed and obviously not functioning properly. I was told a slew of unbelievable diagnosis for that as well. I will tell you one diagnosis I never heard was celiac disease!

It’s been 2 1/2 years now since being diagnosed and living a gluten free life. Although it took a while to adjust I can say the bloating and under eye swelling has most definitely gotten better. It is not always easy to live a gluten free life but I promise the rewards are great. Feeling better is reward enough, isn’t it?!

Ever Onward,

Jennifer Esposito

~ Jennifer

This Post Has 31 Comments

  1. Vicki Purpura

    Jennifer, I saw you on Dr. Oz. I am so glad you care enough to help others. I have devoured every detail of your website. I have been trying to eat gluten free with virtually no information or assistance. I have been sick for years & have all the symptoms but have never been diagnosed. I was absolutely shocked when I saw that you have been exposed to mold. I have been sick from neurotoxins from mold exposure. PLEASE look at the website by Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, http://www.survivingmold.com He believes people sick from mold exposure develop gluten intolerance. Mold sickness is very serious & causes inflammation in the body & many symptoms similiar to celiac disease. Thanks for your help! I am looking forward to your book. Vicki P.

  2. Margaret Archer

    I felt horrible and couldn’t walk or talk good for the last 5-6 years, they tested me for MS but it showed nothing I too have had alot of blood tests and other tests that come back negative but I did have some vitamin deficiencies and then I was finally diagnoised with celiac disease 9 months ago…I have been gluten free since then (9 months)… but I still have symptoms of slurred speech and I can’t walk real good – I always feel like I’m losing my balance/coordinaion problems like it is affecting my central nervous system , have you ever heard of this or should I be more patient?

    1. Jennifer

      Not only have I heard of this , I lived it! MY knees would give out all the time. Just go, right out from under me. Also you are not wrong when you are wondering about your nervous system. I have nerve damage from this disease going for so long undiagnosed. You see this disease is all about your body not getting proper nutrients and vitamins it needs to survive. So the body goes on survival mode and will take the nutrients from other places in your body. First being your bones, due to the fact they hold tons of your vitamin D. Then the body starts to drain the nervous system. The body starts to work on overload. I had neuropathy, slurred speech, panic attacks and tremors that would make my entire body shake. I beg of you to get to a doctor that will listen and demand all your nutrients and vitamin levels checked. I was so so low in L-carnitine (which repairs damaged nerves and vitamin D). Start to drink your vitamins or take in powder or liquid form. I have suggested some here, the ones I take. Also know that It took me almost 2 years to start to feel ok. Until those villi (tiny hairs in the small intestine that are killed by celiac disease and are responsible for taking and sharing nutrients) grow back, it a bit of a journey. Usually takes between a year and a year and a half.
      Here in lies the reason for this site. Doctors, nutritionist, certain people I have heard in the media say, “eat gluten free and you start to feel better immediately” . Well that wasn’t my truth at all and its really not fair to put that extra stress on yourself when you don’t. This is an autoimmune disease and will take time to get under control. So yes be patient but also be kind to yourself. Your body is undergoing many changes. Get those blood test done, eliminate dairy and be kind to yourself.

      Ever Onward
      Jennifer

      1. PAtrice

        Hi Jennifer, Thank You Thank YOU, your site has brought some great Information. I have been recently diagnosed inthe last few weeks. I am an affican American women that is mixed with irish grandfather. My doctor thought to test me for that fact. ( this is a European disease I was told) However Im glad to have found this site, and you and I LOOK FORWARD TO ANY AND EVERY KIND OF INFORMATION YOU CAN SHARE! If there are any other websites or books please let me know. Im currently juicing right now and wnat to move tward vegan and raw diet. thank You and God bless!
        PS what a wonderful story about your beautiful doggie bettyboop! really nice Take care
        my email is psimmons552@aol.com

      2. Sue Seward

        I had most of the same symptoms and my story is so similar to yours Jennifer. My knees would buckle and I’d just fall down and feel weak, thinking all the time it was my thyroid. After going Gluten Free in 2008 when I almost died or felt like dying, still had symptoms on and off for years until I heard Dr. Thomas O’Bryan on a blog talk radio show. I’m now on his Gluten Sensitivity formula for healing the gut for almost 6 months now and can really tell the difference in how I’m feeling. My holistic doctor also did Sylvia testing and recommended I go off all grains including rice and corn. I keep a daily food diary so when I do have symptoms I can look back to see what I ate and sure enough it was either corn or rice. I noticed your flours have brown rice in them so was not able to order those. I use Gluten Free flours that do not have rice in them. I love cooking too it’s such a joy and is therapy for the soul! Especially when I’m cooking healthy for my family! Your website has been a blessing! Thank you for all you do! Keep The Faith ~ Sue

      3. Bonnie Kulesa

        I was diagnosed with gastroparesis about 20 years ago. my doctor was great and believed I had celiac. she tested me time after time but all tests where negative. I had endometriosis, thyroid cancer, all my investigating kept leading to autoimmune diseases. after my thyroid cancer 3 years ago I developed neuoropathy in my feet really bad, I couldn’t sleep, concentrate. walk. work I felt horrible. I just kept reading and reading. feeling worse. I went back to my doctor in Jan. 2014. I said I think you are right. I think I either have celiac or gluten sensitivity. I had my endiscope. then went gluten free. it has only been 4 months but I feel great already. I feel like a new person. however, I still have the nerve damage in my feet. I take vit d, b12 and b complex. I also take r lipoic acid. I am worried my feet will never feel normal again. is this nerve damage permanent and is there anything more I should be doing. ,

  3. Chris Perdicaris

    I am completely shocked at how you have been suffering from this disease for so many years without detection-especially after the countless appointments you have made with numerous doctors. You live in a city (New York) where intellectual giants have their bastions in the entities of law and medicine. In addition, some of the very best research facilities in the world are located there. Lastly, due to the population of New York, you would think that there is a higher probability of numerous types of digestive disorders, thus allowing doctors to be more aware of diseases like celiac. You have rendered me almost speechless as I read about the long and arduous journey you have traveled to discover the truth to only be met with consternation and conjectures. Thankfully, due to your non-complacent and persistent nature, you carried on until you finally found the truth. I, like so many other people, would immediately assume that living in New York would immediately grant you access to an expedient diagnosis and treatment.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but celiac disease is detected through one blood test or does it require multiple blood tests? Also, was it your family physician or a specialist that requested and carried out the proper and thorough tests that led to the discovery of you having celiac disease?

    With reference to the swelling around your eyes, have you ever applied liquid vitamin k to the swollen areas?

    Lastly, your website most definitely can provide assistance to those suffering celiac disease as well as other digestive disorders. I agree with you 100% that healing of the body also works in concert with the mind. In essence, many ancient philosophers believed that they always work in an integral and reciprocal manner with each other. And a great start to your healing as well as others is fellowship and experiencing solace, solitude and satisfaction in helping others experience a life that is free of pain and lifestyle discomfort.

    I applaud you for your strength and your strong, altruistic nature.

    1. Jennifer

      I believed as you did. I lived in NY city and had the money for the best doctors, yet still was undiagnosed. What you read here is the extremely condensed version of what really went on. You wouldn’t believe it. A book I’m working on tells the full story. I have many suspicions as to why people seem to be undiagnosed so often. One being that there is NO money in Celiac disease. There is no drug anyone can sell you to make it stop. It can only be handled by changing your diet. I can go on and on on this subject but will not bore you and want to stay on the positive side of all this. Which is my long time suffering and questioning lead me here and I have a big message. Gluten is good for no one. I believe this in my heart. The more I research, talk to people and listen, i know a life without gluten is a healthier one.
      The answer to your question about testing, a blood test is not 100%. I can not tell you how many false negatives I have heard people getting. When all the while they most definitely had celiac disease. The only true way one can know is to have a endoscopy done by a doctor who is LOOKING FOR CELIAC. It can be hard to detect if not looking specifically for it. I was finally tested and diagnosed through a blood test but that was because I was so off the chart ridiculous with the disease. Not everyones test will be that clear.

      I so appreciate your kind words and hope you will continue to share this journey. Please stay tuned in for my new pumpkin cookies recipe coming!!!!

      Ever Onward
      Jennifer

  4. Hannah

    Very good website. After you went GF you were sick, was it from not eating gluten or the vitamin D.
    I have been GF for 1 year and avoid eating eggs, yeast or spices. Dr. said to take vit D but will not test to see if I need it.

  5. Chris Perdicaris

    Have you ever thought of expanding your audience to include other cases of indigestive disorders in addition to those who suffer from celiac disease? I know of many people who have lost a great deal of weight simply by eating an organic diet. In essence, every ingredient in their diet was from “scratch.” The transition from a processed food diet to one of complete organics adjusted their bodies over time which resulted in satisfaction of mind and body resulting in gradual and permanent weight loss.

    Have you read any recognized medical journals about celiac disease? For example, The New England Journal of Medicine?

    Also, what type of treatment did you receive from the people in your everyday life before you were diagnosed? Didn’t anybody notice the pain and discomfort you were going through? Were the people in your life not observing and taking notice of the decline in your health? Please understand that I am not portraying anybody in a bad light, but do you think many people dismissed your pain and discomfort as simple indigestion and/or stress? When your hair was falling out, and you would suddenly buckle at the knees and fall down, didn’t anybody offer to take care of you? It appears you had to go through these trials and tribulations all by yourself. It even makes me believe that some of those doctors you had visited took your condition too lightly and immediately dismissed it as “stress.”

  6. Denise

    I’m a longtime celiac survivor. I was diagnosed in the 1980s….just 3 years after my mom died from type 1 diabetes. I was 30 years old and had a husband and 3 young kids to worry about. I was majorly sick and hospitalized for 2 weeks. I have the classic form. I was deficient in vitamins A,D, folic acid, B12, iron and all of my electrolytes were low. My cholesterol was in the mid 90s due to the fat malabsorption celiacs have. I weighed 78 lbs and I’m around 4’10 1/2″.

    I left the hospital on a lot of medicatons. 50,000 IUS of Aqualsol A, 50,000 IUS of Drisdol taken every day, 1 mg of folic acid 3 times a day, B12 shots, iron and over the counter high potency B vitamins. Megaloblastic anemia feels pretty bad.

    I developed diverticulitis and a sigmoid volvulous afer 20 plus years on the gf diet. I had a partial colectomy 3 years ago and my gallbladder was removed this year. I have developed arithrits. My aches and pains make me miserable.

    Even though I’m gluten free, I do continue to develop more health problems. I sometimes think the gf diet is only a band-aid and not a cure.

    I was diagnosed with a small bowel biopsy and permeability tests. I was pretty out of it and I don’t remember everything that was tested. I just remember being afraid I was going to die. My recovery took around 3 years.

  7. Antonia's Mom

    My 13 year old daughter was vibrant, healthy and excited to be back at school on Sept 26, 2011. On Sept 27, she said she was weak, achey and flu-like without fever or cough. She continued to have a kalidescope of seemingly unrelated symptoms, NONE OF which were digestion-related. But the one overwhelming constant was her debilitating fatigue. We saw endochinologist (Lupis and thyroid tests) , neurologist(nerve and MS), ENT (weird cough and sinus pressure), pulminologist in the ER (it hurt to breath!), and more than I can remember. Each specialist agreed that some sympton was within their field EXEPT that damn fatigue. It was the piece that didn’t fit nicely, and so we would keep searching…in offices and on-line. A mentioned to each Doc that she had a severe reaction to Nightshades (Potato, tomato & pepper) when I was breastfeeding her. One Doc thought that was interesting and he included the Gliadin tests in bloodwork. Bingo! She was diagnosed on Dec 5 & the GI doc said, “She has to be GF the rest of her life”. End of post-biopsy care and guidance. My hubby had low Vit D last year & was fatig-ing this winter, so he was tested… positive too! He’s responding well to GF, but my poor darlin’ girl was still being assalted by the dairy and Potato starches in so many GF pastas, etc. My kitchen was GF on Dec 6, but there was no cautioning that”where there’s Gluten trouble, there’s more”. She suffered terribly a few weeks till a nutritionist detected the dairy and nightshade villains. Here’s the hardest thing to accept, as a Celiac’s person or caregiver: YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN IN DISCERNING WHATS WORKING AND WHATS AMBUSHING YOUR HEALTH AND BODY. I have to agree with your conclusion that Docs are “dumb” about Celiacs because there is no med for it. There is HEALING for it, but thats in the grocery store. Empire Blue Cross pays for a Diabetics Nutritionist care, but not for my daughter and husband. Are they not ill? Is it not Food that will heal them? She is still out of school, and we are still trial-and-error-ing . Most of what I know has come from the internet. No EVERYTHING i know has come from this wonderful, generous and suffering community. Thanks to you all for sharing and caring. I beleive its time to organize/unite as One in 133 and get this disease on the national awareness map. But first , I have to make 6 meals from scratch for tommorrow.
    Exausted and Grateful,
    Linda

  8. Brielle

    Hello,
    I am a 22 year old fashion student and I was just recently diagnosed w/ Celiac Disease. I took almost 2 years of researching before I asked to get tested for celiac. I knew I had it and I actually had to conveince my GI doctor to do an endoscopy because she didn’t believe I had it. My hair fell out, my skin was so bad I didn’t even look like the same person. My endoscopy showed that my villi is completely flat. I have to supplement EVERYTHING! It’s extremely hard on a college budget and I am graduating in june with no job lined up! I’ve been struggling this entire in school just to make it through. You story is such an inspiration and I hope I will be able to overcome this and still accomplish my goals. Any advice on how you pulled thorough?

    1. Jennifer

      Hi there,

      I’m so very happy that you listened to your body and kept going until you got answers that made sense!! The fact that you had to convince your GI doc to give you a test is just so wrong. I understand completely. I wish i knew about this disease when i was with my GI doctor for 5 years without answers. So good for you!

      On another note, I’m not going to tell you its easy to live with because its not. It does gets better though. Stay with naturally gluten free foods. A sweet potato being one of my favorite. Its so healthy for you, inexpensive and can be made into a few different things! Nuts are also something to always have on you. Keeps your energy going and filled with nutrients and fiber. Try soaking them in water for easier digestion and even better nutrients.

      What i can also say is don’t let your health stop you in your life. Accept what you have to do to stay healthy and move on. I found it easier than trying to fight it. Take pride in knowing that you are smart enough to listen to your body and got answers. Which saved you even more pain and anguish. Feel proud!

      I wish you health and awesome fashion career!!!!

      Ever Onward
      Jennifer

  9. Jess

    Thank you for sharing your experience it is helping a great deal to normalize my own story having just been diagnosed with Celiac. It has been a long journey for me as well- my symptoms seemed perplexing to every doctor i met with. My eye and face swelling was so severe as was under eye darkness, joint pain and swelling in my abdomen. Over the last two months I have been diagnosed and misdiagnosed with so many things. In and out of emergency rooms twice and even told I had cancer. Lymphnodes were biopsied and then one day doctors started wondering about “autoimune diseases”. With this my research began and my curiousity around celiac. Self advocacy has been allot of effort but well worth it after finally connecting with a GI specialist who made the connection and diagnosis. After one week gluten free I am already noticing significant changes and feel like an entirely different person. I am excited to wake up in the mornings now and im starting to loose the fear and dread that i seemed to carry with me every day. I wish you the best of luck on your journey :)

    1. Fuyu

      I just discovered Udi’s about a month ago and it is by far the best gltuen free products I’ve had. while I don’t have Celiac disease, I do have Fibromyalgia and too much wheat and gltuen makes my joints hurt. Dude, If you haven’t had an opportunity to try their bagels . . .

    2. Sujittra

      Right here is the right blog for anyone who hopes to find out about this topic. You raelize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject which has been written about for years. Excellent stuff, just excellent!

  10. Beth

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks so much for this website, your suggestions, and your personal story. It helps so much to have someone who understands what this is like. I can totally relate!! I was diagnosed with Celiac after having an endoscopy 9 months ago. I have been experiences symptoms of Celiac disease since I was a teenager–I am 40 years old now–but over the last ten years my stomach pains, stomach issues, and joint and muscle pain have gotten intolerable. My problem with recovery, even though I am ultra careful to eat all gluten free foods, is that I get a flare up of symptoms every month around the same time, with increased pain so that I can’t even get out of bed. I am on Vitamin D and Iron supplements and have taken Prednisone during previous flareups to help reduce symptoms but it no longer seems to be working. Just wondering if anyone else had this problem and what they did to improve? I haven’t felt better yet on the gf diet and can be patient–it would just make life so much easier to not have these awful flareups. Thanks and best of luck to you!!

    1. Jennifer

      Probiotics are a MUST for us Celiacs especially. They help maintain good bacteria. Also look into digestive enzymes. Just helps your body digest and get the most out of your food, and we need all the help we can get

      Take Care

      Jennifer

  11. Janine Leone

    Jennifer,
    I saw the last few minutes of your episode on Fox. I was diagnosed in 2006 and eat gluten free as faithfully as possible. I have low iron again, not hemoglobin, just iron, keep getting swollen tonsils and can’t seem to work out hard consistently. After reading some of your info I think I really need to increase my vitamins & supplements. It seems that eating gluten free is not the end all answer. I have always worked part time but am trying to find full time work. I am secretly hoping to never have to work full time as I don’t think my body can handle it. I am going to add some probiotics and supplements especially Vitamin D. Any other suggestiosn? By the way, are you Italian? I know Esposito is a very common Italian name. I am 100% Italian. When first diagnosed I read that they screen children in Italy by the age of 6 and that it only takes 2 weeks to get diagnosed. I also heard it is the most common disease in Europe. Well, thank you for your candid information and effort in helping others understand Celiac.
    Janine Leone

    1. Luan

      OMG I’m so excited to see your reeivw!!!! I got diagnosed with Celiac about 4 moths ago and I’ve been having a very hard time following my new diet, especially since I love to bake. A couple of days ago I saw this product on a gluten free website and I was debating on trying it. My husband found a couple of stores in my area that carries them and now I’m really excited to try them out. We are going to the store tomorrow!!!

    2. Steves

      Congratulations on having one of the most soasthiicpted blogs Ive come across in some time! Its just incredible how much you can take away from something simply because of how visually beautiful it is. Youve put together a great blog space great graphics, videos, layout. This is definitely a must-see blog!

  12. Sue Seward

    Appreciate all your awesome information Jennifer! I take Pure Probiotic daily as well as Dr. Thomas O’Bryan’s Gluten Sensitivity packs which I’ve been taking for six months now and his Colostrum GS Immuno Restore Powder powder and spray. I’m listening to his 8 hour DVD series on Identifying Gluten Sensitivity Inside and Outside The Gut and Unlocking The Mystery Of Wheat and Gluten Sensitivity. Learning a lot about this disease and how to live whole and happy again! Going to try the Oatmeal Raisin cookies using Bob Red Mills Gluten Free four because I’m also off all grains including rice. Do you have a rice free flour too or planning to have one soon?

  13. Twitchy1

    I have been diagnosed with Isaac’s Syndrome. It is also an autoimmune deal. Very rare. It is a miserable thing. Long story short… I am finally getting relief. I have been doing the nothing to eat except fruit, veggies, seeds & nuts since Jan. However, my real relief came when my chiropractor suggested NAET. I affectionately call this treatment Hocus Pocus. Whatever, it is working. I am very excited and am trying to tell as many people as possible. One of my most annoying syptoms is an eye twitch. This is not just a flutter. The whole left side of my face contorts. And believe me, I am tired of people saying I had an eye twitch once and it was blah, blah, blah. Tried it already, duh!!!! Why don’t you come back and talk to me when you have had it for more than three years. I had stopped reading. It has been about 3 years since I have been able to read more than a few minutes at a time, literally. I am reading again. I can chew gum… It’s a small thing I know but seriously. I have done a lot of research the past few years. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition. I don’t eat anything without looking at it and considering the consequences. Keep an open mind. It does take some commitment but I think everyone in here dealing with any autoimmune disease knows what that is. NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques). If you have any questions let me know. I want to help as many people as possible get relief. Yeah, my neuromuscular doctor told me I would not be able to control this with nutrition and as much as called me a control freak. If I can control this without IVIG or plasma exchange or drugs. Well then, yeah, call me a control freak. WHEW!!!! Thanks for a place to vent. :)

  14. stephanie

    every time I get in the sun I get a rash and blisters on my chest. I now have horrible scars. I was diagnosed with celiac and colitis 9 yrs ago after having pre-malignant polyps removed. I have suffered since I was in middle school and I am now 35. I have struggled keeping with the diet, living in a small town there isn’t a lot of gluten free options…the last month I have really tried, but my endoscopy showed a lot of damage plus my stomach was very inflamed. living on water and beans isn’t easy since I don’t eat meat and i’m allergic to so many other things too. i thought i would see some positive changes, yes my stomach feels a bit better but my skin is still the same and so is my mood and energy. just hard that nobody truly understands this disease…thanks for this website and for your show!

  15. stephanie clark

    Sadly the gluten free diet is not inexpensive. Many americans live paycheck to paycheck and others like me are single mothers. I have 3 kids and work 2 jobs part-time jobs as an EMT in the Midwest…so I have to make a sacrifice and of course my kids will always come before myself.

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