Sunday, June 29, 2014

Food Allergy Grassroots Education

At a party yesterday a woman came up to me and said "Thank You. " I smiled and asked, for what?
 Well, it seems that years ago when her granddaughter was struggling with eczema  and hives and vomiting after certain foods, I suggested it might be food allergies. And when it was food allergies, I made a list of ways to navigate playgrounds and parties and family events. As well as gving her the FARE number and ways to talk to family and friends about food allergies. 
  I was the elder statesman even then, having helped my son navigate his multiple food allergies for 18 years. But who knew that sharing my experiences and my " combat" knowledge would be so important to others. 
Now I know-- and I know that sharing how we did it, how our kids did it can  really help the next generation get through the rough spots. Like birthday parties or, now, college dining halls. 
( at the FARE conference last weekend my friends and I joked that they need a " granny track" for us!)
   We didn't mean to be pioneers, but we were. The first kid in school allergic to peanuts. The first mom in the playground asking to wipe other kids' hands. ( Just call me " crazy mom"-- they all did!) The first family to request a conference with the college nutritionist. And the first group of folks to get their teens together for a Food Allergy Summit. 
And what came out of all that-- especially the Summit-- was Community. The idea that we"re all in this together**and we can all make a difference. 
  So whether you explain to an aunt how
To make pie without eggs. Or show your school nurse how to use an Epi-pen. Or call that friend-of-a-friend who just got diagnosed-- YOU can make a difference. 

[**we're all in this together ** is from Anne Munoz Furlong the founder of FAAN)

No comments:

Post a Comment