The Food Allergy Foundation is relatively new on the scene, [they are celebrating their birthday this month!] so if you haven’t heard of them, consider this your introduction!~ This is a non-profit organization whose “dedicated to helping families and individuals manage life with food allergies. We are the “new voice” in the food allergy community focusing our efforts on funding food allergy research, support groups, education, awareness & advocacy across the country & around the globe.” I spoke to one of the FAF founders, Jon Gonzales, who has suffered his entire life with food allergies and eczema, which were not properly diagnosed or treated for years! He was only given an Epi-Pen 2 years ago, because doctors never told him it was needed or even an option! We spoke about the education/information gap that seems to exist between physicians and allergists; and the problems that causes parents who are trying to get their children properly diagnosed. Either the parent’s explanation of symptoms get attributed to other things, or dismissed; [You can read many such stories like this on my homepage, in the reader comments!] We also talked about the ever-increasing numbers of children and people who are getting diagnosed with allergies, asthma, eczema, and other auto-immune diseases, and found we share similar theories as to why; [and yes, we are both anxiously awaiting some scientific genius to prove our theory!].
The Food Allergy Foundation believes in supporting research, to help find better treatments, testing, and God willing~a cure! They believe in offering support on a local level- through support, advocacy, and education. The belief that it is the support groups, the parents who advocate and push for changes- that they are the means to help influence and create the changes we need to see globally. In the spirit of this, they decided to celebrate the real force of change~ the Moms~ by creating the Mother’s Day Food Allergy Mom of the Year Award. This contest was open to anyone, you simply had to fill out the form, to nominate who you felt was worthy and why! On Mother’s Day the Foundation chose a winner for Canada, and one for the United States. Oh but wait, there is more!~ The winners will be going to Virginia, in September to speak at the Food Allergy Foundation Ball, at the Gannett/USA TODAY Headquarters, [in front of 400 + people!], and to receive their awards. For more information on this event please check out this link: Food Allergy Ball [www.foodallergyball.org].
Canada’s winner was Jennifer Roberge, founder of The Eczema Company . “The Eczema Company was created by our family to help families like yours, dealing with the daily challenges of childhood eczema.We know all about the intense itching, the sleepless nights (for the whole family!) and the desperation to find something to make the discomfort even the tiniest bit better. Our son, Tristan, developed a baby rash and was diagnosed with eczema at 3 months old. His skin continued to worsen and at age three his body was 90% covered in what looked like severe burns. Around that time we discovered he has many food allergies, some lead to eczema flair-ups and some lead to immediate itching. Now that we’ve found his triggers, Tristan’s skin is much better. You can follow Tristan’s story on our blog, It’s an Itchy Little World. ”
Let me just say, if you have not checked our her blog, or her site, I highly recommend that you do!~
The Winner for the United States was [drum-roll please!]……… Me? Yes~ ME!!!!! Jenny Sprague- Yup, That IS ME!! I admit I had NO IDEA about this contest~ None! So I was, and continue to be absolutely stunned to learn that YOU voted, recommended, spoke so kindly and highly~ of ME~ and can I please tell you how utterly humbled, grateful, and LOVED this makes me feel?!! I started this blog, a little over a year ago, to try to help people going through what I had been going through- to try to ease that fear, and doubt that is so heavy in the beginning as we learn to adapt to living with food allergies! Looking at where I am now, my boys food allergies really have been the catalyst~ metamorphosing my entire life, my being~ into my best self ever! I am honored and proud to offer my help and experience to you, of the friendships and connections we make, and the love and support that you also give to me! You all know what a year we have had-new food allergies, cancer, EoE; and the fight goes on!~ I am damn lucky to have all of you here by my side!! Truly Blessed!! THANK YOU!!!