This spring is the time to raise awareness for celiac disease and money for research. 2011 marks the 10 year anniversary of the Walk-Run for Celiac Disease and Research a.k.a. Making Tracks for Celiacs. Money raised benefits the University of Maryland Baltimore’s Center for Celiac Research (CFCR). They just got the new logo for the anniversary event — you can see it pictured to the right!
Most cities across the country who participate will put on their events in May, but a few trickle into June. These events are a great way to let people know we are here, what celiac disease is and why it’s important to raise money for this important disease. Why is it so important? Because it affects 1 in 133 Americans and 97% don’t know. Instead they have unexplained health complications they are living with like osteoporosis, anemia, cancer, brittle bones, infertility…and so much more. Some people have no symptoms at all despite continued internal damage.
Non-profits and fundraisers have taken a hit with the economy in the last few years, the CFCR acknowledges that, but this year they have laid down a challenge they hope everyone can take part in: “If everyone could raise $100, think of how much money we could raise,” said Pam King Director of Operations for the CFCR.
The Baltimore event has a 5K Walk/Run and a 10K Run. It is being held on Sunday, May 22nd and is already promoting a “HUGE gift basket from General Mills with all of their gluten-free products!!” The website, celiacwalk.org, is still being updated with the 2011 dates, so if you look there now, it might be best to book mark it and check back in a few weeks as various organizations get their information into the admin of the website.
I am the coordinator for the Twin Cities Walk/Run for Celiac Disease in Minnesota. Our event is being held on Saturday, May 21st in Victoria, Minnesota. We have a 5K walk and 5K Run. The run has a $20 pre-registration fee. The walk has a suggested donation of $20 per family, but we would love to see you meet the CFCR goal of $100 per person in fund raising! Our vendor spots are 50% full already and we continue to seek sponsors and donations. If you are interested in that area, click here.
I can say, speaking from our experience of 10 years putting on this event in the Twin Cities, this is the best experience! You have fun with the run/walk and kids’ activities, plus you learn so much about gluten-free foods (especially new foods out there), and you meet other people who have it! That’s a big deal, because if you were anything like me, I figured Emma was the only one in the world who had this disease — until I got involved in the celiac community.
If you want to volunteer for any of the events, get a hold of the contact person for your event to see how you can help, because I’m sure they could use you. Now’s the time to get involved! Whether it’s participating, donating money, raising awareness or volunteering (or all of the above)– you can do it!