This many people have food allergies? That was the first question my 8-year-old daughter asked as we walked up to the check in line at the 2013 FARE Walk (Food Allergy Research and Education) Baltimore held in Ellicott City, Md. A crowd of folks supporting others with food allergies was just the lift she needed. Lately she had been showing a bit of anxiety about her food allergies. It’s been six years since her first diagnosis, but she still has her moments. And frankly, so do I.
I knew walking with her family and 500 others who all share the same food allergy concerns may help cheer her up. Her spirit lifted as we met others like her on the 2.3 mile path. We chatted with parents and kids alike who shared stories of when they first discovered a food reaction and their common allergies like peanuts. The walk was a breeze on a gorgeous Fall day. And the yummy food samples kept us going too.
The walk was a short distance to help raise funds for research; it is still a long road to help others understand the seriousness of food allergies. It can just take a simple bite of any of the common allergens – nuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, egg, milk, wheat and soy – to cause a life threatening reaction, known as anaphylaxis. There are other allergies not as common too, such as certain fruits. The only way to save a life from a food reaction is with an epipen (epinephrine). The only way to avoid a reaction is to avoid eating any foods with the allergen. But, the hope for a cure is not far distant. Much progress is underway through clinical trials and research.
You can support others with food allergies or meet others like you with food allergies during the upcoming FARE Walk in Rockville, Md on Sunday, October 5. The walk helped cheer up my daughter. She knows she is not alone, many do understand and we found some new products to add to the lunch box. Not bad for a walk in the park.