Education: Without a cure, those with food allergies must focus on teaching others and educating themselves on how best to stay safe. FARE – Food Allergy Research and Education is the best educational resource out there. There are many ways to support FARE. You can participate in a walk, print and distribute educational materials to your school/church/daycare, provide a poster to your favorite restaurant, watch a webinar (they’re free!) to educate yourself, or donate money.
Research: I hope, pray, and also believe that we are on the cusp of discovering treatments that can transform the lives of children and families battling food allergies. Many research teams are hard at work. My favorite is Dr. Nadeau’s team at Stanford. Like Sean Parker, my money is on her. If I could move my family to be near her, if I could get my kid in her trials, if I could do anything to help support her team, I would. You can donate to the Allergy Research Center at Stanford here.
Another amazing research team, and the one we will be more likely to be able to work directly with, is the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mt. Sinai Hospital. We hope to get Bubba in a clinical trial there this year. You can donate to the hospital and designate your funds for food allergy research if you so choose.
Support: Allie’s Friends’ Foundation – We end up at the hospital fairly often. Bubba has experienced anaphylaxis over five times and for her this means vomiting, having trouble breathing, administering epinephrine, a trip to the Emergency Room, steroids, and a few hours of monitoring. Scary and very stressful stuff. During one particularly emotional ER visit Bubba was lucky enough to be the recipient of an adorable stuffed animal. This small gift meant all the difference in the world to our three-year-old. She never took a pacifier as a baby, never had a special ‘blankie’, but now sleeps every night clutching this stuffed puppy. It was a gift from Allie’s Friends’ Foundation. Allie was a young girl who died following a horse kick to the liver. Her parents started this non-profit to help other children in medical emergencies. The organization has provided over 50k stuffed animals to 80 hospitals in 39 states.