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Hi, I’m Lila Varitek. I am 12 years old. I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and Dermatitis Herpeteformis when I was 10 years old. My parents knew something was wrong because I didn’t feel well, wasn’t growing, had blistered skin and my hair was falling out. We found out this was all because of my Celiac Disease and Dermatitis Herpetiformis. It changed my life.
With Celiac Disease I had to change a lot including staying over at friends' houses, school lunches, and eating out. We figured it out but it’s different. I used to love ramen noodles, pasta, and bread. Those are the foods I miss the most. Some of the gluten-free food is good but not all of it.
I play volleyball at OTVA in Orlando, Florida. I travel with my teammates to cities all across the nation to compete in tournaments and qualifiers. Travel and team dinners are hard for me with Celiac because we have team dinners at restaurants and sometimes they don’t have any gf food. The volleyball court is my favorite place to be.
In June, I was selected to try out for the Team Florida All-Stars Girls Future Select Team and was selected. The tournament was in Tulsa and I had to stay with the team in a hotel for an eight-day trip without my parents. I did not have access to a refrigerator or a microwave at the hotel and we had team dinners on the schedule. That was a hard trip!
One day, I came across No Gluten Gabby on TikTok and saw she was using a NIMA Partners Sensor and thought I needed one of those so I asked my mom and she said I should tag NIMA Partners on my Instagram. They contacted me and I am so excited to use my new sensor and share how it helps me. I hope to bring awareness about Celiac, Gluten-free living, and help other kids realize that they can continue to compete at the highest level with Celiac and other diseases.Contributor: Lila Varitek