On May 4, 2009, 10 youth volunteers will be named "National Honorees". They will be selected during a trip to Washington, D.C. from a group of 102 Prudential Spirit of Community State Honorees. Colin Leslie, 17, from New York is one of these amazing volunteers.
Here is some information from the press release. "Colin, a junior at Rye High School, has raised more than $150,000 for the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University over the past three years by organizing an annual walkathon in his community. When he was 14, Colin began experiencing excruciating joint pain and migraine headaches. After four months of visits to many specialists, he was finally diagnosed with celiac disease, a genetic autoimmune disorder triggered by eating gluten from wheat, barley, or rye. The difficulty that doctors had in diagnosing his ailment convinced Colin that something needed to be done to increase awareness of celiac. He decided on a walkathon."
For more information on the Colin Leslie Walk for Celiac Disease, which will be held again in Fall 2009, please visit the website. Colin partners with the Celiac Disease Center at Colombia University and the Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group to organize the walk, now in its fourth year. One year, Colin helped to get more than 60 people diagnosed by having a blood screening at the event. He is expanding the walk this year to include a gluten free lunch, presentations, and a larger vendor fair.