Kevin Burkhardt had been seeking a way to use his platform to promote a worthy cause, and finally found it in his own experience. The Mets broadcaster, who suffers from celiac disease, was the driving force behind Friday’s Celiac Disease Awareness night at Citi Field.
The disease, which affects 1 out of every 100 Americans, is an autoimmune disorder triggered by the protein gluten found in wheat, barley and rye. Left untreated, it can lead to serious autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, thyroid disease and cancer—but 90 percent of those who have it are not aware.
So Burkhardt—who was diagnosed 10 years ago after losing 30 pounds in a month, and now must monitor his diet with great care—will host a pregame event Friday, which will include a memorabilia auction and chance to shadow Burkhardt before a game and watch the Mets take batting practice.
Tickets to Friday’s pregame events can be purchased through Mets.com/celiac or by calling (718) 507-TIXX. Net proceeds will go towards celiac education and awareness programs.