A coalition of non-profit organizations from around the globe builds on their Shine a Light on Celiac partnership to raise awareness for celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that affects one in every hundred people worldwide, by having buildings light up green on May 16. May is Celiac Awareness Month in the United States, Canada, and UK.
The partnership includes Beyond Celiac, Canadian Celiac Association, Celiacos de Brasil, Celiac Disease Foundation, Coeliac Australia, Coeliac UK, Gluten Intolerance Group, National Celiac Association, Coeliaque Quebec, Coeliaque Canada, Hellenic Celiac Society, and Slovenian Society for Celiac Disease, which have come together to increase awareness and education about celiac disease, a condition where the body has an immune reaction to gluten. People with celiac disease must avoid consuming foods that contain gluten, which can be found in wheat, barley, and rye. Untreated celiac disease can lead to anemia, infertility, osteoporosis and certain cancers.
To draw attention to this important issue, the organizations are encouraging buildings across the United States, Canada, and around the world to light up green on May 16. Many notable landmarks, such as Niagara Falls, Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer), and the Quebec Olympic stadium will be participating in this initiative.
“This partnership is an important step towards raising awareness of celiac disease and the impact it has on the lives of those affected,” said Alice Bast, CEO of Beyond Celiac. “By lighting up buildings in green, we hope to start conversations and encourage people to learn more about this often-misunderstood condition.”
Beyond Celiac is also hosting a virtual 5K and a virtual Town Hall in May to raise awareness and to educate the public about celiac disease. These events will be open to the public and will provide an opportunity to get active and will share valuable information about the disease and how to manage it. And, as part of their celebration of 20 years of service to the celiac disease and gluten sensitive communities, Beyond Celiac will be highlighting the advances made in the last two decades in public awareness and research, as well as providing shareable items on social media.
All of this is in addition to the joint work with fellow celiac disease organizations. “We are excited to be partnering with other non-profit organizations in our community to raise awareness for celiac disease,” said Melissa Secord, National Executive Director of the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA). “By coming together, we can make a greater impact and help ensure that people with celiac disease get the support and resources they need.”
The coalition encourages individuals and organizations to show their support for celiac disease awareness by lighting up their own buildings or wearing green on May 16. For more information about celiac disease and the coalition’s events, please visit shinealightonceliac.org.
Claire Baker, Sr. Communications Director