By Heather Legg
Amongst all the papers and things for me to sign the other day in my daughter’s folder from school, was a pamphlet from the school nurse – 12 Million Americans Have Food Allergies, it read.
On it was a yellow sticky note with my daughter’s name and classroom teacher. How great of the nurse to take the time to send these home! It’s a pamphlet for FAAN’s September Walk for Food Allergy. “Thousands of Walkers. Hundreds of Miles. One Goal”
The $6 million raised in the first five years of the program has allowed FAAN to fund important and groundbreaking food allergy research by leading scientists, including unraveling the causes of food allergy reactions, finding treatments and identifying ways to prevent food allergies and anaphylaxis. Not only is the dollar amount so important in this campaign, but so is the spreading of awareness of food allergies.
By walking and spreading awareness, or even spreading the word about the walk, people become more familiar with food allergies. Others will realize those with food allergies aren’t just picky eaters or people trying to make things difficult or complicated for others, they’ll see it’s a real issue people contend with every day.
Also through a walk, and even as my daughter and I just talked about the walk, those with food allergies realize they aren’t alone. Whether it’s a mom finding support through another parent of a child with food allergies, or a kid seeing there are thousands of other kids out there with food allergies, everyone can benefit from support. It always helps to know you’re not the only one!
Perhaps you don’t want to walk or seek pledges, there are other ways to get involved. You can volunteer at the event if one is in your area – you can serve on a local walk committee helping with logistics or publicity, recruitment or sponsorship. You can help the day of by working registration, helping with set-up and clean up or handing out t-shirts.
You can donate to a walker if that’s more your style (it is tax deductible). You can do that online or of course, if you know someone, in person. And of course, you can be a walker.
Whatever method you choose in supporting FAAN’s Walk for Food Allergy, it only benefits those dealing with food allergies. I know when my daughter was diagnosed, FAAN was a huge support system for me. Now there’s a walk in my area! I thank our nurse for letting us know, and of course, you can go to www.foodallergywalk.org for more information!