Maryland raises record money for celiac research
The University of Maryland plans to announce today that its Celiac Research Center is getting a $45 million donation from the family of a grateful patient.
The disease has been notoriously hard to diagnose because its symptoms are not always gastrointestinal. And even when they are, doctors sometimes believe it's an allergy or other malady.
But awareness is up, and this money ought to help more, says Dr. Alessio Fasano, the director of the center, and the doctor who diagnosed Shelia Cafferty, whose family is making the donation. The money, though, will mostly be used to develop new treatments -- and maybe a cure -- for celiac disase and other autoimmune diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
That should be good news to those with the disease -- an estimated 1 in 133 people.
Research is expensive, and Maryland isn't stopping with the $45 million. Officials are selling awareness bracelets. (see above) You can buy one at www.celiaccenter.org. And read the full story about celiac disease at baltimoresun.com.
So, think the bands will catch on? You have celiac disease or know someone who does? How long until you were diagnosed?