Kicking for Celiac

There are some mighty cool people in this world doing some mega cool things. Take, for instance, my friend Craig Pinto. Craig is the field kicker for the New Jersey Revolution, an arena football team. Craig has Celiac Disease and getting his diagnosis was a turning point in his life, personally and athletically. After feeling sidelined by weight gain and fatigue he got his ass back in gear and is now a pro athlete. And to prove how much getting a diagnosis meant to him, Craig raised almost $5000 to donate to the Celiac Disease Research Center at Columbia University.

And how did he raise that money?
Craig set a motherf*#&ing Guinness record. He went in the books for kicking 717 40-yard field goals in 12 hours. Celiac got you down? Think about Craig and his near robotic legs.

While the research center at Columbia made a major administrative fumble (they failed to publicize Craig’s fund raising event thrown in their honor), it supports the work of Dr. Peter Green, a terribly knowledgeable and approachable dude. I had the pleasure of chatting with Dr. Green a few months ago. His ease with people (be they patients or oddballs like me) is a great strength in the medical world. He broke down Celiac diagnosis statistics around the world in a little under 5 minutes. And I understood it (if you know my level of medical competence this is impressive). If you get a chance to hear him speak you’d be silly to miss it.

The video here is all about Craig’s accomplishment. He picked me up at the train station in Mineola at 6:30 am and then we drove to the field to set up for the day. Just over an hour later he was kicking balls and tearing into the log book. I’m glad I was there to witness the record, not because Guinness records mean that much to me, but because Craig is a great guy with a heart bigger than a football. If you’re struggling with a diagnosis, if you think it’ll be the end of your active life, watch this video.

Then go out and kick some ass.

Rock on,