Gluten-Free Living (GFL) magazine and the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) have a shared vision: to promote the advancement of celiac disease research and spotlight celiac and gluten-free champions in our community. With this vision in mind, GFL is proud to introduce passionate and dedicated CDF Student Ambassadors from across the U.S. Below, meet 17-year-old Jonny Grossman, who dedicates his time and efforts to raise awareness and funds on behalf of CDF.
Celiac Disease Foundation Student Ambassador
My name is Jonathan Grossman. I am 17 years old and from Syosset, New York.
During the summer of 2013, I was diagnosed with celiac disease.
When I was diagnosed, I immediately saw the difficulties that came along with this unique lifestyle. From the limited restaurants offering gluten-free options without cross-contamination to not being able to eat at any of my friends’ houses, it made my life very difficult. No one around me was aware of celiac disease and my friends never understood why I was the only person eating a salad at the “boys’ table” while everyone else was eating a sandwich. I had to do something to educate my friends and peers, and that is when I found out about the Student Ambassador Program for the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF). I knew I had to become a Student Ambassador because I wanted people to understand what my life was like and for them to become aware of my disease.
Since becoming a Student Ambassador, I have worked hard to spread awareness and educate my peers and anyone who has come my way. For the past two years, I have run a celiac disease booth at my high school’s health fair and created a gluten-free donation box for Thanksgiving. I also ran a fundraiser for CDF at one of the largest soccer tournaments on Long Island and raised money and participated in the annual Turkey Trot in Oyster Bay, New York.
Outside of my work with CDF, I love fishing and boating with my family and friends!