On April 9, Celiac Disease Foundation CEO Marilyn Geller will testify before the House that celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disease that is not being taken seriously enough by the government and advocate for research funding for the disease.
Geller’s testimony will be delivered before the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, which is the subcommittee responsible for the NIH, CDC and Medicaid/Medicare budgets.
The testimony will include more than 750 stories the Celiac Disease Foundation received from the celiac committee.
“Our primary purpose is to explain that celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disease that affects millions of Americans, and to highlight the stunning lack of government research funding for this disease – especially relative to other diseases with similar impacts on public health,” Geller said.
Geller, a member of Gluten-Free Living‘s advisory board, has been working with the Celiac Disease Foundation for years to advocate for celiac disease on Capitol Hill. “Improving diagnostic rates and accelerating treatments and a cure for celiac disease requires federal health agencies to end decades of neglecting this disease, and to partner with researchers, patient advocacy groups, and biopharmaceutical companies in this effort,” Geller said.
Geller’s full testimony can be found here. In part, it says:
- The lifetime burden of the gluten-free diet is perceived by patients to be second only to end-stage renal disease, and by caregivers, comparable to caring for a patient with cancer.
- Our diagnosed patients report that they miss, on average, 23 days of work and school annually, resulting in excess utilization of our healthcare resources.
- Despite what you might see in popular media, celiac disease is not a fad. It is not a punchline. Americans are dying because we haven’t paid sufficient attention to this disease.
Geller’s testimony is scheduled for approximately 3 p.m. EST on April 9. It will be livestreamed here. Gluten-Free Living will also live tweet the highlights of the testimony, so follow us on Twitter for updates.