In three days, a big event comes to the Twin Cities — the 10th Annual Walk/Run for Celiac Disease (and food fair).  And this year it’s bigger than ever and we hope to get a lot of people there to show support for this community.

Why Be Passionate About the Celiac Walk/Run on May 21st?

Celiac Disease affects 1 in 133 Americans or around 3 million people.

Walk/Run (and Food Fair!) for Celiac Disease

According to the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago, that is roughly the same number who have Type 1 Diabetes.  Celiac affects more than those who have colitis and Crohn’s Disease combined.   It is something the general public, media and some medical professionals think is rare — but from those numbers you can see that it is not!

Because gluten in food is toxic to a celiac’s cut, they don’t absorb nutrients from food, which means trouble for your body:  35% have typical GI symptoms — stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea.  But that means the rest have atypical symptoms:  osteoporosis, anemia, infertility, neuropathy, fatigue, liver disorder, feeling “foggy”, thyroid problems, irritability, read more on the Mayo Clinic’s symptom list.

Diagnosis of Celiac Disease Takes Years

According to the U of Chicago Fact Sheet the average is 4 years for someone to get diagnosed with celiac disease.  Some people it happens right away, but others go on for DECADES without knowing why they feel so rotten.

Instead they are diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, stress, or in Emma’s case “You know kids throw up right?” — luckily her diagnosis only took  about 4 months, but she lost 10% of her body weight between 12-15 months old.  Not good!  Once you’re diagnosed you realize how silly and scary it is that it took you so long to feel better.

People in rural parts of the country feel so isolated

Participants gathering to Walk in 2010

It is so hard to get good gluten free food as it is, but when you don’t have access to a health food store nearby or a grocery store that carries gluten free products, you have to do mail order all of your food!  Plus, there are very few support groups the farther away you get from a big city.

This event brings people from all over the country, but primarily Minnesota and the states surrounding us. It shows people with celiac disease that they are not alone, there is good information out there,  and that there is access to great gluten free food!  If you can make the trip, you’ll find it’s worth it!  I love to see people travel to come and enjoy the food and community.

Gluten Free for All

The 10th Annual Walk Run for Celiac Disease is literally a Gluten “Free for All”!  With two dozen vendors and food sample donations from companies all over the country!  It is a low cost option (if you’re walking or coming only to the food fair it’s a suggested donation of $20 but no entry fee) for you to try very expensive gluten free food and find out what you like and don’t like!  We all know it can be a horrible waste of money when you buy a $6 bag of gluten free cookies only to take a bite and hate them. This way you can find new companies and “try before you buy”!

Even the Governor of Minnesota is Coming!

That’s right, one thing that has made this event even more exciting is that the Governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton will be in attendance!  A few weeks ago, he made news when he declared May Celiac Disease Awareness Month in Minnesota. He has friends who have celiac and/or eat gluten free for health reasons.  He understands its impact on life.  While he cannot stay for the walk, he will address the group before the walk starts.

Want to Attend, Donate or Help?

For more information on attending, donating or helping this event in another way, please go to You can get more information, directions or donate to the cause directly online.  Twin Cities ROCK, the organizer of this event can keep up to 25% of the proceeds for putting on this event and other local education initiatives.  The rest benefits the University of Maryland’s Center for Celiac Reserach.

Silent Auction, Raffles and Door Prizes

There is something for everyone! Be sure to check out the Silent Auction and Raffle Area.  Click here to see some of the fantastic silent auction items. Proceeds from these two areas go toward the fundraiser too!  Plus everyone who registers gets a door prize ticket.  Our door prizes are packed with at least $100 worth of gluten free goodies.

Join us for one of the best celiac/gluten free gatherings of the year!  We look forward to seeing you!

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