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El Paso teen defies Celiac disease diagnosis, guiding others on their journey

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- At only 8 years old, Hunter Feinberg was the first member in his family to be diagnosed with Celiac disease. The now 14-year-old is teaching others on social media how to live with the disease.

"When I was first diagnosed, I was pretty shocked, like I had no clue what it meant besides being gluten-free. And I was pretty sad at the time." Hunter said.

Hunter's mother, Jody Casey, explained that Hunter did not show any symptoms. They only discovered his diagnosis because he wasn't growing.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Celiac is caused by an immune reaction to eating gluten. There is currently no cure, but a gluten-free diet can help prevent symptoms.

Hunter said he was very scared when he first received his diagnosis.

Casey explained it was a long process for the whole family to become gluten-free.

"When we found out that Hunter needed to be gluten-free for the rest of his life, one of the big challenges was we had to control just about every meal that he was eating and everything he was putting in his mouth. So I had to learn to cook a whole lot better than I knew back then and to cook gluten-free," Casey said.

Hunter's Celiac diagnosis helped kickstart "Gluten Revolution." Hunter and his family post recipes, food recommendations and other helpful videos to educate others.

Hunter first came up with the idea during the 2020 COVID pandemic.

"I'm really proud of him because I think there's not a lot of awareness around it. And there are other parents that went through and families that went through what we went through. And they, there's just a lot of gloom and doom information out there, so we wanted to bring awareness to not only what Celiac is, but that you can actually live a really healthy and thriving lifestyle with the disease," she said.

Hunter said he has received feedback from others who say they are going through similar challenges.

"We've had people like message us and text about like their daughter or son being diagnosed and their website helping," he said.

Hunter wants others to know they can live a normal life despite this diagnosis.

"That it's not it's not bad. Like when I feel like I live a normal life like everybody else."

Hunter will begin his freshman year of high school later this upcoming school year.

He hopes to continue inspiring others through "Gluten Revolution."

Article Topic Follows: Health

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Rosemary Montañez

Good Morning El Paso anchor and reporterf


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