Healthy Living

Be Inspired! How an Awesome College Graduate Manages Celiac Disease

Fast forward – where is she now?

Camp Nejeda, Stillwater, New Jersey. Photo Credit: Camp Nejeda 

It’s amazing what people can do when they are truly passionate about something and have the natural motivation to accomplish whatever goals come about them. With a disease like celiac, it makes life difficult, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in foods and nutrition, Lena was ready to start digging into this new found lifestyle. She had been spending her summer days working at a place called Camp Nejeda, a camp for children that have type 1 diabetes. Since 1958, this camp has been providing empowering summer camp and a multitude of other programs for these children with diabetes. Luckily for Mattero, one of her professors had connections to the camp and knew that they were in need of someone to help out all these children.

“I knew going into my career I had always wanted to work with children and it just kind of fell into place. My professor knew the head nurse there and they were looking for someone. She emailed me and I was able to set up the connection with her and it worked out really well. It’s a really cool environment,” said Mattero. This is just the beginning, but it’s a wonderful way to step into the dietary environment. How wonderful it is for someone to help others when they themselves suffer from a disease.

“I’m working as the dietician there for the summer. There’s little kids that are now just learning to count their carbs and understanding that. We do nutrition class with them every day so it’s cool to be there to help them learn about it but it’s a lot of information. I think now that I’m working with that population, I love it and I’m just interested in learning more about it.”