Rockland/Bergen County R.O.C.K. Chapter Established

I am happy to announce the establishment of a R.O.C.K (Raising Our Celiac Kids) chapter for the counties of Rockland, New York and Bergen, New Jersey.  Read on for the press release and details for the first meeting, taking place tomorrow, September 21, and for which I will be the keynote speaker.




Local Mom of Celiac Child Starts R.O.C.K. Group; Nyack Hospital Hosts Meetings

NYACK, New York, September 2, 2010 — If Rockland and Bergen counties follow the national average, 1 in 133 residents have celiac disease, including children. With the launch of the Rockland/Bergen chapter of R.O.C.K. (Raising Our Celiac Kids), families and friends of these children will now have a forum to share their experiences and help their kids navigate a gluten-free lifestyle, the only known treatment for celiac.

R.O.C.K. is a free support group for parents, families, and friends of children on a gluten-free diet for treatment of celiac disease, gluten intolerance, autism spectrum disorders, ADD/ADHD and allergies. The group’s mission is to provide a positive environment that embraces the challenges and celebrates the triumphs of living gluten free. R.O.C.K. was founded by Danna Korn in 1991 after her son was diagnosed with celiac disease. The group has grown to include chapters throughout the United States and all over the world.

Gabrielle Simon, who lives in Bergen County and has a five year-old son who was diagnosed with celiac at the age of two, is the face and force behind the Rockland/Bergen R.O.C.K. chapter. For the past three years, Ms. Simon has surrounded herself with an informal support network of celiac and non-celiac friends who have helped her navigate the gluten free world and enabled Ryan to thrive and enjoy a symptom-free childhood.

Now Simon wants to give back by starting a R.O.C.K. group for Rockland and Bergen families. Her goal is to provide a safe, optimistic and educational forum where members can share emotional support and reliable information and resources. 

“While celiac shouldn’t define a child, it does affect the way they live each and every day,” says Simon. “My hope is that the R.O.C.K. group will empower gluten-free children by providing them with the tools, education and support they need to advocate for themselves and their health.

Nyack Hospital is providing free meeting space for the Rockland/Bergen R.O.C.K. group.

 “Left undiagnosed and untreated, celiac disease can lead to autoimmune diseases, nutritional deficiencies, thyroid disease and even cancer ,” says Linda Suarez, MS, RN, CDE, Coordinator of Patient and Community Education at Nyack Hospital. “Living gluten-free is the only known treatment for celiac and education and emotional support play a big role in managing the disease. We are happy to do what we can to help celiac families and children live healthier lives.”

The first Rockland/Bergen R.O.C.K. chapter meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 21, 2010 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Krutz Auditorium at Nyack Hospital, 160 North Midland Avenue, Nyack, New York.

Ms. Simon will open the meeting by sharing the R.O.C.K. philosophy and her ideas for the Rockland/Bergen chapter. Key note speaker Rachel Begun, MS, RD, a gluten-intolerant registered dietitian and author of The Gluten-free RD blog ( will engage the group with an interactive discussion, “Post Diagnosis: Keeping it Positive,” which will focus on finding the balance between providing children with a healthful, gluten-free diet and allowing them to be kids. The meeting will conclude with member introductions and a roundtable discussion.

For more information about Rockland/Bergen R.O.C.K, visit the Facebook page at!/NYNJROCK.

About R.O.C.K

Founded in 1991, R.O.C.K. (Raising Our Celiac Kids) is a free support group for parents, families and friends of kids with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, autism spectrum disorders, ADD/ADHD, allergies, or who are gluten-free for personal or health reasons. The group promotes an optimistic, yet realistic approach to living (and loving) the gluten-free lifestyle.

 About Nyack Hospital

Nyack Hospital is a 375-bed community acute care medical and surgical hospital located in Rockland County, NY. Founded in 1895, it is a member of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System. For additional information, please visit

# # #


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s