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Celiac Fundraiser a.k.a What I want for my birthday

I remember as a kid I was always concerned that my birthday was on September 13th. Honestly, for years I was afraid that I was born on a Friday. (I was actually born on a Tuesday.)
But everyone sees 13 as an unlucky number. Seriously, just ask my husband why 13 people couldn't be around the dinner table when he was a kid. Bad mojo.
Besides, 13 is an odd number and I have a thing for even numbers.

But this year I'm trying to make the number 13 a GREAT thing.

This year I'm participating in the Lansing FARE walk that is taking place on September 13th, on MY birthday!

So what exactly is FARE?
"Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) is the nation’s leading organization working on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergy, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis.  Our mission is to find a cure for food allergies, and to keep individuals with food allergies safe and included."

 1 in 13 children have food allergies – "roughly two in every classroom."  (There's that number 13 again!) 

"But Celiac Disease is an Autoimmune Disease, not an allergy." 
While Celiac Disease is truly NOT a food allergy, the initiatives that FARE puts in place truly impacts the lives of those living with Celiac disease. While their main arms are Research, Education, Advocacy and Awareness, it is the Education component that makes the biggest difference in the life of a Celiac. 


FARE’s educational programs and resources help individuals and families manage food allergies and live safer, healthier lives. With funds raised by our 2013 Walk teams and volunteers, we developed an interactive online training program for restaurant staff in partnership with the National Restaurant Association, and created a series of educational webinars on topics of importance to individuals and families managing food allergies." 

"So why aren't you donating money to a Celiac Disease Center instead?"
Through blogging and working with food fairs and support groups, I meet more and more moms, dads, and children who are living with multiple food allergies, trying to navigate the landmines of social eating and getting others to realize that food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances are a serious thing. I'm quick to stand up to people who get all twitterpatted because they don't understand why their school is peanut free.

So this year I'm participating in the FARE walk. I'm toying with walking a half marathon next year (13.1 miles) , but this year, the FARE walk has everything organized for me to start quickly. I'm honored to be walking for Celiacs, nut free kids and people everywhere who just want to have a "normal" life.

So this year for my birthday I don't want gifts for myself. 
This year I want to give the gift of health and life to those living with Celiac Disease and other food allergies. How do I accomplish this? 

Here's where the number 13 comes into play again. 
I'm asking family, friends and followers to donate $13 in honor of my birthday towards my FARE walk page. $13 is the cost of one large pizza at most regular pizzeria's- Hungry Howie's, Cottage Inn, etc. (I won't even begin to talk about the cost of a gluten free pizza.) So, the question is, could you give up a take out pizza for a day for the sake of someone else who probably has to give up eating pizza out for most of the rest of their life? 

I have a few different fundraising goal levels- 

Goal Level 1- $133- This breaks down to approximately 11 persons donating $13 each. The prevalence of Celiac Disease is 1 in 133. This is why I highlight this number. And that's less than a dozen people, so let's think of a bigger amount!

Goal Level 2 - $286 - The breaks down to 22 x 13. Why 22? Because the prevalance of Celiac Disease among 1st degree relatives is 1- 22. Celiac Disease is GENETIC. If you are diagnosed or know someone who is, PLEASE convince them to get tested for Celiac Disease. PLEASE. If you have a friend with Celiac Disease, ask them if their family members have been tested. Don't know where to start? The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has a free online kit to help you get the ball rolling.  

Goal Level 3 - $ 832 - This breaks down to 63 x 13. Why this amount? Of the over 1 million people with celiac disease in this country, 83% of them are still undiagnosed. That means there are literally millions of people suffering with this disease and they don't even know it. One of my biggest passions is medical personnel awareness - this includes doctors, nurses, dentists and anyone that deals with helping care of the needs of others. A great way to start in this awareness now is to tell your doctors and all of your friends about this FREE online webinar for where they can get FREE CEU's. This is created by two of the most WELL KNOWN and TRUSTED physicians in that Celiac Disease realm, Dr. Fasano and Dr. Guandalini. Please print out the frotn page of this site and share it with ALL doctors that you know.

Level 4- $1330 - The breaks down to approximately 102 donors. This is 10 times my original goal and would TOTALLY blow my mind. But I also know that I have over 1,000 pageviews on my blog a month, so I know that my readers are totally capable! 

Level 5- If I can get more than that amount of money, I will be ecstatic. I'll will giveaway a prize pack to one person who donates above the $1330 limit! 

So please be willing to consider supporting this initiative of my birthday. You're even welcome to come walk with me, as there is no fee to register. There are always great family fun activities the day of the event, as well as free samples to take home. 

Here's to making 13 a lucky number, because we will have the funds for food allergy awareness and education!

Click on this link to my FARE page to donate now.

Link to Univ of Chicago's Celiac Disease Center Facts and Figures Sheet

Wondering if you might have Celiac Disease? Take this checklist. 

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