On Friday, March 4, Senator Jack M. Martins honored a Mineola resident who has kicked his way to notoriety. But what it even more impressive than Craig Pinto’s knack for kicking field goals is his desire to help others.
Pinto, 33, was diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease, a digestive condition that is triggered by the ingestion of gluten, which can damage the small intestines. After Pinto was diagnosed, he decided he would try to help others who have the same disease.
On October 10, 2010, Pinto participated in a charity event in Bethpage for the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. He would kick 717 field goals from 40-yards out within a 12-hour period, earning him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Kicking a football is something Pinto is used to, having been the placekicker for the Hofstra football team as an undergraduate. But now he is involved in something new in his life, helping others combat Celiac Disease through a charity he founded, the Kicking 4 Celiac Foundation.
“It was a real tough time in my life,” said Pinto about the time before he was diagnosed. “There are people who are being diagnosed constantly. I want to have an outreach for patients to feel normal. A lot of times, it goes undiagnosed and untreated and that can be dangerous.”
Senator Martins, who is also from Mineola, was proud of honor Pinto with a Senate Proclamation. “Craig Pinto is an impressive young man. He attends graduate school, is a member of the Portuguese Soccer Club and is also helping others through his foundation,” said Senator Martins. “His world record is special but he is an even more special person.”
For more information on Pinto’s foundation, visit kicking4celiac.org.