Earlier this week, I attended an all day conference for work. Since it was an all day event, we were served lunch. Everything was going so well until I got in the line for lunch. I was horrified to see that the only thing on the table that I could eat was potato chips. Now, being a Celiac for over 10 years now, I always have a contingency plan when I go to events like these. So, instead of having lunch at the conference, I left to go buy my own lunch and then came back afterwards. I know that I should have checked before the conference to make sure there was something that I could eat, but sometimes I find myself assuming with the amount of awareness out there now that there will always be something for me.
What this event taught me is that there is still so much more work to be done on spreading awareness about Celiac Disease and making sure that there is always lunch for those who can't eat just anything. After lunch that day, I listened to a speaker who talked about never giving up on what you want. She told us that if you believe in yourself, you can make anything happen. When I left that room, I found myself more determined than ever to get the word out there about Celiac Disease and the gluten free diet. That is one of the biggest reasons that I am hosting the Gluten Free Expo in Wichita Falls, Texas in less than a month. I want people to know what Celiac Disease is, and what it means to those who have it.
This expo will be the first of many events to raise awareness in Wichita Falls, Texas. This experience has given me a new sense of purpose to help give those with Celiac Disease a voice and see to it that no one has to feel like an outsider at any event they attend. I admit this is not going to be an easy task, but it will certainly be worth it.