Going Gluten-FreeOctober 17, 2012

"F" is for Food Allergies

FAAN’s Walk for Food Allergy in my area just so happened to coincide with the "Letter F" theme for my daughter in school that week. We were among several hundred people, including many from my local support group, who gathered on a rainy Saturday morning in early October to walk in support of people with food allergies.

Fun. This annual event is a chance for my 9-year-old son Joseph to have fun and feel like part of the gang. Joseph’s allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, milk, egg, soy, sesame and mustard don’t isolate him or make him feel anxious at the Walk for Food Allergy. Instead, he feels support from the hundreds of other kids who are just like him, along with all the friends and family who gather together to help kids with food allergies.

Fundraising. The walk allows children like my son to feel a strong sense of community. But the walk is much more than that. It also raises money to advance efforts for allergy research, education, awareness and advocacy.

I’m proud about this: Joseph contributed his own money that he had saved. His little sister, 4-year-old Pamela, also chipped in with her own cash. “I want to help Joseph so he doesn’t get sick,” she said.

Fabulous. The all-volunteer committee from NC FACES (Food Allergic Children Excelling Safely) did a fabulous job setting up the venue so we could register, peruse sponsor tables and participate in the activities under cover from the weather. By the time we walked around the lake, the rain had slowed to a sprinkle--so it was a very enjoyable jaunt. But it wouldn’t have mattered to me even if it had poured the entire time. It was fabulous to feel the support that this annual walk showcases.

Footprints. Participation in the FAAN Walk for Food Allergy is a priority for my family and me. I’m very grateful to the hundreds of people who come out for the walk ever year. Each one leaves a lasting footprint of support for kids with food allergies.

For information about the FAAN Walk for Food Allergy in your area, go to foodallergy.org.

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