What would you do if you had to live without chocolate, coffee, ice-cream, bread, pizza and cake? Just to name a few…
This is exactly what it has been like for Brisbane resident, Catherine Harrington, since she was 11 years old. After a long period of very ill health Catherine was diagnosed with a range of food intolerances and allergies. This meant some serious lifestyle adjustments and thankfully a path to good health.
Now with over 20% of Queenslanders suffering a food allergy, the most widespread being wheat and milk, Catherine's experience is an ever more common one for children and adults alike.
After 17 years of living gluten free in Brisbane and supporting many family and friends having to make the adjustment to a gluten free lifestyle, Catherine decided to turn her biggest daily challenge into her biggest opportunity.
Catherine is proud to take her mission, to support as many people as she can to live an easy, fun and healthy gluten free and allergy friendly lifestyle in Brisbane, and to mark the Coeliac Awareness Week (13th-20th of March), with the launch of the new membership site www.GlutenFreeinBrisbane.com. The proceeds raised from the launch have gone to support the Coeliac Research Council, doing vital and world leading research in cure, awareness and support services for Coeliacs.
According to the statistics published by the Coeliac Research Council and Dr Peter Smith of the Allergy Clinic: 1 in 100 Australians are affected by Coeliac disease
75% of people are undiagnosed
160,000 Australians have Coeliac disease and don't know it
Undiagnosed Coeliac disease can cause chronic poor health, osteoporosis, infertility, miscarriage, depression and cause behavioural problems
The number of people seeking allergy treatment in Australia has doubled in the past generation, with most of those affected being children and young adults.
Catherine said, 'I could not think of a better way to launch the Gluten Free Membership site than running an event for the Gluten Free and Allergy community by bringing all the top people in the Allergy Industry, in Brisbane and surrounds, for an event to promote Coeliac Awareness week."
'The theme of the week -Is Gluten Slowing you down?' inspired us to give a boost of energy to Coeliac Awareness with a health and fitness focused event. We are so excited that we hosted health practitioners, fitness professionals, and business owners specializing in managing and supporting people with Coeliac disease and other food allergies"
There was the who is who of the allergy business community, including guest speakers Pauline and Michelle from www.theAllergyMenu.com, who have recently featured on Channel 7 and in the Courier Mail, and Kylie Hollands of the very successful online allergy shop www.WhatCanIEat.com.au. Door prizes donated of Gluten Free 4 Ingredients cookbooks signed and donated by Kim McCosker, and Rowie Dillon's Gluten Free Cookbook, who supplies all of Qantas allergy friendly plane food.
Since statistics show that majority of people have multiple food allergies Catherine wanted to do something to support the whole range of allergies, not just gluten, so has partnered to create Soul Food Magazine- Australia's Allergy Friendly Magazine, who supported the launch with their online interactive magazine.