For years, I was a great mom, unknowingly poisoning my husband and my children with homemade pancakes, waffles, cookies, and cakes. I understand the feelings that many of you go through as your children are diagnosed celiac. I had no idea what this hereditary disease was until my husband, Dan, was diagnosed more than sixteen years ago. I cried in frustration in the pasta aisle at a local Meijer store and read labels until I could hardly see.

So, I learned how to cook and bake all over again. I am gluten free because it helps with some of my issues, and it is so much easier keeping the whole house gluten free. I am DQ2 positive, and have thyroid issues, so I contributed to my family's plight.

Now with a host of gluten free grandkids, including one who is also diabetic, and some other allergies in the family, we have many things to share and lots of understanding for families who struggle with the life changes that these diagnoses require. There is hope and support for all of us.

My church, Anchor Community Church, has taken on this challenge as a ministry opportunity. They have fully supported the beginning of a Celiac Kids Support Group which has translated to an online support in recent years. The Gluten Free Food Fair has become a highlight of our ministry. This event is sponsored by the church, keeping no admission fee a priority, and vendors pay a fee for their booth. Each year the event has grown, adding new features and more people attending.

I hope to meet you soon. Everyone has a story--I would love to hear yours.



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