By Heather Legg
Next month begins the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network’s (FAAN) Walk for Food Allergy. There are over 30 locations nationwide and even if one is not in your area, you can still be involved. I was just talking with a friend doing the 3 day Breast Cancer walk (whom I am very proud of) and remembered how important fund raising is to finding a cure. With fund raising walks (and I’ve done my share, too), not only do you raise money, but just as important, you raise awareness.
This is FAAN’s statement:
Why We Walk
• We walk to find a cure for food allergies.
• We walk to increase awareness of food allergy and the effect it has on a community.
• We walk to provide understanding, hope, and an opportunity for a child with food allergy to simply be a child.
• We walk to save a life!
More than 12 million Americans, or one in every 25, have food allergies. Included in that number are 3.1 million children. Scientists cannot explain why this number has doubled in the U.S. over the past 10 years. For many, food allergy is more than just hives – an allergic reaction can be deadly.
Over the years, FAAN has been at the forefront of progress in food allergy research. Findings from research studies have been used to change federal and state laws, improve school policies, raise public awareness, improve the daily lives of individuals with food allergy, and provide education for patients, caregivers, and health professionals.
Fundraising walks are a fun way to get your family and friends together to make a difference in something you care about. It can be a day of celebration, a day of remembrance and a day of focus for what is dear to you. You can participate as a volunteer if the walk is in your town, or perhaps work on getting one in your area if it’s not there yet. You can also donate online to any of the walks online, or even become a virtual walker and you can fundraise that way.
Because most of the walks take place after the school year has begun, it’s a great way for your child (especially if he or she is the one with the allergy) to promote awareness for allergies. You can supply information and maybe others with allergies, teachers or the school nurse will choose to join your team and get involved.
Go to www.foodallergywalk.org for more information on walk locations, fundraising, sponsorship, signing up and anything else you need to know about this. Take that step!