Being Gluten-Free Makes me, Me! By Summer Cullen (Age 10)

Julia Applebaum Age 12I know this girl, and she’s a little different from everyone else.  She has this problem, called, “Rheumatoid Arthritis.”  It is something that happens in your bones and joints.  Because she has this, she tries to be gluten-free so her Arthritis doesn’t kick in.  Gluten is a substance that is in all items with flour like cereal, pasta, cake and bread.  Being gluten-free means that you have to avoid all these things.  Most grocery stores have gluten-free products, since there a disease called, “Celiac” which is pretty common.  I know you are wondering, “Who is this person? I would feel really bad for them?”  This girl is me.

There are a lot of great things about birthday parties.  One of the greatest things is that you get to eat cake.  But what would you do if you couldn’t have the cake?  This is exactly what happens to me.  Cake and cupcakes are full of gluten, so I can’t have cake at a party.  I would normally bring my own gluten-free snack, or make up and excuse why I can’t have the snack.  Over the years, I’ve learned to speak up for myself, and not to feel sorry for myself.  I have learned to accept this challenge that I was born with.  Each person is different in their own way, and my way happens to be gluten-free.

This “problem” has helped me to learn to speak up for myself.  I used to be quiet, but I realized that being quiet isn’t going to get you anywhere in life. Nowadays, whenever I go to birthday parties  and there us something I can’t eat, I tell the parents, and then they find something for me, like popcorn.  I would say that this has made a big impact on my life, because now I make sure my voice can be heard.

I bet there are a lot of people that are like me, who are trying to avoid gluten because it’s bad for them.  There’s also probably a lot of people that have Celiac Disease.  I think it is important for someone whose in my shoes to know you’re not alone.  I am sure if you go somewhere and you can’t have the treat, there is someone who knows exactly how you feel.  Another important thing is that if you tell someone. I guarantee they will help you!

I really don’t mind being gluten-free.  I always try to not let it affect me so it can’t bother me.  Sometimes, I do wish that I wasn’t gluten-free though.  It is a real pain when you cannot have something everyone else can have, but I know that’s what I have to do to keep my body healthy.  Over time, I’m glad I’ve learned to accept my difference.

Being gluten-free makes me different.  It makes me, me!

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