HOW TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT COELIAC DISEASE
Sometimes it’s easy for the smaller charities to miss out.
Let’s face it: if you’ve experienced a problem in your life and a charity’s helped, you’re far more likely to donate to them, so the bigger charities that target high risk factors like cancer and heart disease get more money.
Therefore charities like Coeliac UK have a harder job. Although 1 in a 100 people is estimated to have coeliac disease, the statistics aren’t as high as those with cancer.
However, awareness increases knowledge which helps raise money. Thankfully, Jake Johnson is helping to do just this.
Jake’s 3 year old daughter Amelia was diagnosed with coeliac disease after a desperate battle with sickness, culminating in a Christmas Day her parents will never forget.
Due to the problems she faced, Jake and his wife had to go to a clinic to get her seen by a doctor.
Like many people affected by coeliac disease, Jake learned a lot about the illness in a very short space of time. He also had to change the family’s way of life considerably. In his recent interview on BBC radio he and presenter John Darvall explained the following:
There are an estimated half a million people undiagnosed with coeliac disease in the UK; You have no idea how much wheat is in; It’s not just in food – it’s in things like play-dough; You have to use separate chopping boards & utensils; You need another toaster; It’s not an intolerance: it’s an autoimmune disorder; It’s why Amelia was losing weight; It damages you; and Long-term exposure can lead to cancer or infertility*. (* Note: these conditions are caused by long-term exposure and there is only a very small risk.)
On the positive side, Jake explains that more people are being diagnosed and Coeliac UK are having an awareness week in May, which isn’t just for the public. Doctors are getting an education as well. The problem with less common diseases is they can often be overlooked or misunderstood. Jake wants people to get the right advice, especially in a medical environment.
Jake’s decided to help others by doing a charity cycle ride in June on behalf of Coeliac UK.
Click here if you’d like help children like Amelia and donate to Jake’s justgiving page.