Daniela Abbo

“When I was nine, I started suffering from sharp stomach pains, and after a lot of tests, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people, in which the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. If not treated with a healthy gluten-free diet, it can affect how our body functions, over time, leading to serious health complications. Since I was diagnosed, my life has changed immensely. I now have to plan meals in advance, be very responsible about what I eat, and practice self-control almost every day. Although it’s hard to constantly search for new options to eat, it has helped me develop resilience. I turned my difficulty into action, and instead of being sad about this situation, I decided to help other teens going through the same challenges. I was honored to be selected as a Student Ambassador for the Celiac Disease Foundation, to accelerate diagnosis, treatments, and a cure through research and education. In order to advocate for this cause, I have created and continue selling, a gluten-free dessert cookbook named, Celicious. In addition to these sales, I recently organized The Celiac Cycle, a spin-a-thon at a local studio. Both the book sales and funds raised from the event were donated directly to the foundation. If you would like to support my work, please follow me on Instagram, @celicious.gf. I am optimistic that together we can improve the health and quality of life for people who face Celiac Disease!”

– Daniela Abbo, 11th Grade Student

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