Help Me Raise Funds for Food Allergy Research

FARE Walk for Food AllergyIf you’ve been reading Speed Force for more than a year, you’ll remember that each fall I participate in the Walk for Food Allergy. Last year, Speed Force readers helped me raise over $1000 for food allergy research, awareness, education and advocacy.

Food allergies are a serious health problem, faced by over 15 million people in the US alone. Severe anaphylactic reaction is a life-threatening emergency. Swelling can prevent breathing, a drop in blood pressure can cause loss of consciousness, and it can even trigger cardiac arrest.


I’ve experienced this first-hand. I left Comic-Con in an ambulance after two sips of flavored coffee that, unknown to the staff at the coffee shop, contained peanuts in the mix. I spent the rest of the afternoon in the emergency room.

Stuck in the ER with a Comic-Con Wristband

I was lucky. Just one week later, a thirteen-year-old died under similar circumstances: while on vacation with her family, she took a bite of something she expected would be safe but recognized the peanuts immediately. She took medication and thought the reaction was under control, only to have it hit harder half an hour later. She never even made it to the hospital.

A simple label would have been enough to prevent both of these incidents. “Mexican Mocha (contains peanuts)” or “Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats.”

Walking on Eggshells

We still don’t know what causes allergies, which means we can’t prevent them. The hygiene hypothesis is gaining traction, but it’s far from settled, and advice to parents as to when to introduce high-risk foods is all over the map. We can’t cure them yet, either, though desensitization treatments at starting to show some promise.

For now, those of us who live with severe allergies just have to avoid our triggers as best as we can, and carry those emergency auto-injectors everywhere.

These are the voyages of the USS Epinephrine.

If you know someone who has food allergies, you can help by knowing what’s in the food you serve, using separate utensils and dishes for preparation (if you make a PBJ with one knife, you’re going to get peanut butter in the jelly jar, making the jelly unsafe), and letting them know if you plan to substitute an ingredient.

Support FARE

You can also help by donating to FARE*, an organization dedicated to food allergy research and education. They fund research into identifying the causes of allergies and finding treatments. They provide training materials for the food industry. Over the last few years they’ve been pushing for stock epinephrine in schools, since many allergic children experience their first anaphylactic reaction at school, before they’ve even been diagnosed with an allergy. This year they’ve also been trying to combat allergy-related bullying.

Please sponsor me in the walk. Your donation will help FARE work toward long-term solutions through research and more immediate solutions through education and advocacy. If you can’t donate, but would still like to help, I’d appreciate it if you’d spread the word. Please use this link:

And who knows? Maybe it’ll turn into another Superman-Flash race

Thank you for your support,

*FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) is the merged organization made up of what used to be FAAN (Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network) and FAI (Food Allergy Initiative).


4 thoughts on “Help Me Raise Funds for Food Allergy Research

  1. Kyer

    Can’t help financially, but will mention the site while at work.

    Keeping separate utensils for different foods should be par the course everywhere. (Ran into the same thing when discovered the hard way that family thought nothing of dipping a spreader with gluten-laden bread crumbs into a jar of propopolis I was using to get over years of malnutrition as it was “just a few crumbs”. Yah. That explained why I was feeling sick for a week and couldn’t figure out why when I had just been starting to feel better after cutting out corn and gluten foods.

    Allergies indeed suck, but at least mine isn’t anywhere immediately lethal. You have my empathy, Kelson. Keep safe.

    1. Kelson Post author

      Thanks, I appreciate it.

      And yeah, cross-contamination is an issue that everyone should watch out for. Even people with no dietary restrictions should avoid mixing, for instance, raw meat and raw vegetables to avoid food poisoning.

      It’s bad enough when people don’t think about it at all, but the “Oh it’s just a tiny bit” people really get on my nerves. They’re not allergists, and they’re not the ones living with the allergy day in and day out. They aren’t qualified to determine the safe exposure level. That takes someone who has studied the issue or the individual’s health history. (The same problem goes the other way with “never eat this!” health scares forwarded around the internet, but that’s another issue.)

  2. Steven

    Is Kelson your first or last name? I’m willing to chip in a little money but I don’t want to mess it up.

    1. Kelson Post author

      It’s my first name. My full name’s Kelson Vibber, but I usually just go by Kelson since it’s (relatively) rare. If you go through this link and click on the “Give now” button, it will count toward my total for the event.

      Thanks for the donation!

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