This doesn’t have anything to do with the Flash, or comics, but it’s important to me. I’ll be walking next month to raise money for research and education, and I hope you’ll sponsor me with a donation.
I don’t talk about it much online, but I have food allergies. Some are severe, some moderate, and some mild, but the worst of them can send me to the emergency room (or worse) if I eat food with the wrong ingredients. It can be tricky at times, but I like to think I do a decent job of striking a balance between not getting myself killed and not hiding away in my house like a shut-in.
That means I carry emergency medication whenever I eat. I don’t go out for Thai food or visit restaurants that leave a basket of peanuts on the table to munch on while you wait. I check ingredients in the grocery store, and I ask the waiter about them when I order food. If I can’t eat one item on the menu, I look for another dish that I can.
Even so, sometimes something slips through, and when it’s a bad one, my throat closes up, making it hard to breathe. If I’m lucky, I take my medication and spend the next few hours anxiously waiting until it subsides, hoping that what I’ve taken was enough. If not, I have to inject myself with epinephrine and get someone to take me to the emergency room. Thankfully, it’s been years since I’ve had a reaction bad enough to send me to the hospital.
I’ve also got a ten-month-old son. I’d like to spare him from having to deal with all that, if I can. If I can’t, and he develops serious allergies like I have, I’d like to help smooth the path for him as he learns how to live with them — or, better yet, help find a cure.
So I’m participating in the FAAN Walk for Food Allergy to raise money for research and education, and I hope you’ll sponsor me.
Research Still Needed
Modern medicine understands how allergic reactions work, but we still don’t have a good handle on why some people have allergies and others don’t, or why some people react to one food and some react to another. And since the causes are so poorly understood, parenting advice is all over the map: Keep your house as clean as possible. No, keep it somewhat clean, but not too clean. Introduce risky foods early. Introduce them late.
So, raising money for research? Great idea!
Awareness and Education
If you’ve ever read the comments on an article about people with allergies — or worse, people with allergies who have the gall to leave the house and visit a restaurant once in a while — you know that there’s a lot of misinformation and just plain lack of consideration out there.
A lot of people don’t understand that food allergies can be serious. Some don’t even believe they’re real, just the actions of a bunch of hypochondriacs looking for attention. (It doesn’t help that there are people out there who do lie about having allergies because they’re afraid people won’t honor their preferences, which just convinces that group that they’re right.) Or they get hung up on whether a condition is an allergy, an intolerance, or some other condition.
And finally there are the people who get it…sort of. They understand that food allergies can be serious and life-threatening…then proclaim loudly that you have no business taking part in society, and should just stay at home all the time, and how dare you expect some sort of accommodation like making the cook use a separate spoon for the kung pao chicken and the beef with broccoli, you entitled jackass.
Yes, those people are out there. And very vocal. I’d like to change their minds.
Please support my fundraising efforts with a donation. Your tax-deductible gift will make a difference in the lives of the estimated 12 million Americans with food allergies and their families. You can make your secure credit card donation by selecting the Support Me Button on my profile page for the walk.
Any amount helps me reach my fundraising goal. I greatly appreciate your support!
Kelson, when is the deadline on donations? I’m down to donate, just would prefer wait till the next paycheck.
Thank you very much, Ken! The event I’m walking in is October 23. I thought the deadline was the day of the walk, but I checked and it turns out they’re accepting donations through December 31.
I’ve got allergies and probably intolerances to a ton of stuff – some getting better and others getting worse with time. I’ve not a lot of hope that the worst of it will improve soon, but at least I don’t need an epi. I’m glad such a cause exists and that you’re highlighting it.
Best of luck, Kelson! *checks wallet*
I had no idea that you had allergies too. I’m glad to hear they aren’t bad enough to carry the epi-pen, though. Here’s hoping they never will be!
I am truly sorry to hear about your allergies. While I consider myself fortunate and formerly ignorant to the whole ordeal, my education came to me through my 3 year old niece due to my fault. I was eating some peanuts and had finally earned the blessing of my sis to watch Abi for the day. As with all kids, they see you do something and they want to do it also. I gave her a couple just to see if she liked them. After several hours at the emergency room I received the scariest lesson I have ever learned in life. Now when she is around I become that A**hole who hounds the waiter and cook staff and checks every ingredient. I also keep an epi pen in my car and at my house just in case. I am very glad to see people are trying to cure the problem and raise awareness. You will have my support and donations on behalf of myself and Abi.
Wow. First, let me just say that I’m very glad to hear that your niece came through the experience okay, and it sounds like she’s found a wonderful advocate in you.
I’m sorry it was a rough lesson — I can only imagine what it must have been like for her at three, since I was lucky(?) enough to only have mild-to-moderate reactions until I was around 17 or so. And I’m sure it must have felt awful knowing it was something you’d done that set things off.
Thank you very much for your donation, and for sharing your story!
I’ve not any allergies, but despite eating organic foods have noted a sharp decline in my health of late. The sad fact is that it is currently impossible to stay away from toxic food elements. Very nearly ever canned good out there is lined with toxic materials okayed as non-toxic by the government because the chemicals (like BPA) won’t kill you within a couple of weeks after consumption. Then there’s the plastic bags themselves. No wonder the plastics industry started a massive “pro plastics” campaign a couple of years back.
Toxins will accumulate in your body and cause cancer, birth defects, and obesity…but that’s down the line and -hey- the pharmaceutical companies are big business with lots of lobbyists. Your health and mine don’t matter as long as we live long enough to keep paying more taxes than we receive in road repair work.
This is one of the things where I agree from detractors that capitalism is evil. But then…so is ever other system because people are born selfish bastards.
Ask God to help guide you to better your help rather than just manage it. (I’ve just run across a site that lists companies which don’t use BPA-laden cans..Native Earth has coconut anyway…and am checking them out. Can’t recommend relying on doctors…to many in the pockets of the drug empires. If you can improve your health through fresh organic foods and stay away from cans like I should have…do it!