FARE Weighs In On Food Allergy Awareness Week

As you probably already know, this week is food allergy awareness week.  Today I’m honored to have a guest post from Mike Spigler, Vice President of Education of FARE.  FARE (formerly FAAN) is a one-stop shop for the caregiver of a child with food allergies.  They offer so many grass roots and nation-wide opportunities for YOU to become involved in the food allergy community.  I don’t know what we’d do without them!

Thanks so much to Mike and Nancy for this fabulous post!

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A Guest Blog Post by Mike Spigler, Vice President of Education of FARE

Mike Spigler of FARE

Greetings! I’d like to thank Kimberly for the opportunity to be a guest blogger during this momentous week – the 16th Annual Food Allergy Awareness Week!

We’ve come a long way in raising awareness of this potentially deadly disease that affects 15 million Americans, including 1 in 13 children. But there is still so much work to be done to increase understanding of food allergy as a serious public health issue.

As the vice president of education at FARE, I have the opportunity to be a part of a growing movement to ensure the safety and inclusion of all those affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis.

I’d like to share with you just a few of the things we’re working on this year:

  • We’ve just wrapped up our first Food Allergy Conference in Oak Brook, Ill., and will be hosting our second spring conference in Arlington, Va., on May 18. If you’re on the west coast, I hope to see you in Anaheim, Calif. on June 1. Every conference is packed with sessions intended to help you live well with food allergies. If you haven’t yet attended a conference and you’re nearby, I encourage you to register today!
  • This week, we launched a national public awareness campaign aimed at raising awareness about the potentially life-threatening nature of food allergies and curbing food allergy bullying – a serious issue that is becoming more common and has potentially dangerous consequences. I encourage all of you to watch and share the “It’s Not a Joke” PSA (available in 30- and 90-second versions). We have already gotten tremendous feedback on this campaign. It’s a moving piece, intended to spark discussion and help others understand the impact of their actions.
  • We will be launching a series of educational webinars later in the year, with guest experts on wide-ranging topics. FARE members will have the opportunity to receive priority placement for live webinars, which will later be archived on our website.

These are just a handful of the exciting activities on the horizon this year at FARE. Stay tuned for more exciting news throughout the year. We also hope you’ll also join us at a FARE Walk for Food Allergy near you!

Mike Spigler

Vice President of Education, FARE

Food Allergy Awareness Week Begins Today!

Today is the first day of Food Allergy Awareness Week.  🙂

2013 Food Allergy Awareness Week Logo

It seems as though this week holds different meanings for different people.  Some celebrate their family or friend living with food allergies and pay acknowledgement to the struggles they face each day.  Some are fundraising for their local FARE walk so there will be more funding for education, advocacy, and research.  Some are taking the opportunity to simply educate others about food allergies.

For my family, we are celebrating my son and his success at not letting food allergies define him!  He lives every day with a smile and seldom, if ever, complains about his diagnosis.  Our family has registered The Food Allergy Mom Team for the Houston FARE walk and are already fundraising.  Want to support us?  Please make a donation or register to walk with us here.

What will you do this Food Allergy Awareness Week?  Need a few ideas?

  • Register for your local FARE walk
  • Make a donation to support a friend walking for FARE
  • Make a new allergy-friendly recipe for your loved one
  • Write your state representatives to let them know where you stand with food allergy legislation
  • Give your family/friend with food allergies a hug and tell them how proud you are

Want to educate others with some fast food allergy facts?  Check out the below statistics and share with others.

  • 1 in every 13 children has a food allergy. That’s two in every classroom.
  • Every 3 min, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the ER – that’s more than 200,000 visits per year
  • 8 foods account for 90% of all reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish www.foodallergy.org/allergens
  • Food allergies can begin at any age and affect children and adults of all races and ethnicity. Learn more: www.foodallergy.org
  • There was an 18% increase in food allergy from 1997-2007. Learn more about research on new therapies www.foodallergy.org/research

Have a fabulous idea you want to share with others?  Please comment below or on our facebook page to share with the food allergy community.

Stay tuned for a wonderful guest post on Tuesday from one of my fellow food allergy bloggers!