On June 3, 2019, Marilyn G. Geller, CEO of the Celiac Disease Foundation, submitted Outside Witness Testimony to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies which oversees the funding for the Department of Health and Human Services, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In her testimony Geller restated her oral address to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies on April 9, 2019, advocating for dedicated research funding towards finding a cure for celiac disease.
“Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disease that is not being taken seriously enough by our government,” Geller testified. “Despite what you might see in popular media, celiac disease is not a fad. It is not a punchline. Americans are dying because we haven’t paid sufficient attention to this disease.”
Geller concluded her Senate testimony with the following:
“As a result of my testimony, the following was included in the House Committee on Appropriations Report:
Celiac Disease. The Committee encourages NIH to devote sufficient, focused research to the study of Celiac disease, including the autoimmune causation underpinning the affliction. Today, the only known treatment for this disease is a gluten-free diet; but, recent public and private sector research has revealed that such a “treatment” is insufficient for many who suffer from Celiac disease. Therefore, the Committee urges NIAID to support new research to better coordinate existing research and focus new research efforts toward causation and ultimately, a cure of this disease. NIAID is encouraged to coordinate with other Institutes and Centers as appropriate and to submit its plan for coordination and execution of this research to the Committee on Appropriations no later than 90 days after enactment of this Act.
I respectfully request that this distinguished Subcommittee include the same or similar language in its Report.”
Since its founding, the Celiac Disease Foundation has worked to gain recognition of the substantial impact of celiac disease on public health, and to amplify the voice of the patient community in the halls of Congress. In the past year, the Foundation has focused its efforts on advocating for NIH resources for the development of better treatments and, ultimately, a cure for celiac disease.
About the Celiac Disease Foundation
The Celiac Disease Foundation is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating diagnosis, treatments, and a cure for celiac disease—one of the world’s most common genetic autoimmune diseases. Founded in 1990, the Celiac Disease Foundation has led the fight by funding and executing initiatives in the principal areas of medical research, patient and healthcare provider education, and public policy advocacy, to bring an end to the suffering caused by celiac disease.
Geller Testifies Before House Appropriations Subcommittee