The owners of Tee-N-Jay Farm hope their horses can do more than just win races at Monmouth Park and Saratoga, they hope they can help find a cure for celiac disease. Tee-N-Jay Farm will donate 2.5% of its net earnings from its horses finishing first, second, or third from Aug. 1 through the end of the year to the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland in Baltimore and to the local support group, Raising our Celiac Kids of Central New Jersey.Owners of Tee-N-Jay hope to raise awareness of this debilitating and sometimes life-threatening disease, and hope that funds raised will one day lead to a cure. Celiac disease is an auto-immune disorder that is estimated to afflict approximately three million Americans.Symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhea, weight loss, shortness of stature, lack of concentration, and in some cases, constipation. Those affected suffer damage to the small intestine when they eat specific food-grain antigens that are found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. Due to the lack of absorption of calcium, iron and other nutrients, celiac disease can lead to osteoporosis, anemia, and in children, a failure to thrive. There is also an increased risk of diabetes, thyroid disease, liver disease and arthritis.
Celiac disease, known as the "great pretender," was recently named in a Reader's Digest article as one of the 10 most misdiagnosed diseases in the country. Celiac is often mistaken for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or lactose intolerance and sometimes shows up as joint pain, fatigue, or a skin rash."If just one person is tested and diagnosed after reading this," said Tee-N-Jay's co-owner, Tom Swales, "then I feel we will have accomplished something very special."Tee-N-Jay Farm's horses are trained by Monmouth Park's leading trainer, Tim Hills. Horses in their barn include stakes winners, Vous and Trueamericanspirit. Other horses include Rhumjar, Prep School, Edison Lanes, The Rising, Whizbang, Igor, and Munson.