Category Archives: Off-Topic

It’s That Time Again! Help Me Support Food Allergy Research

Best Food Forward by Jason RogersLast year, Speed Force readers helped me raise over $1000 for food allergy research, awareness, education and advocacy by sponsoring me in the Walk for Food Allergy. The walk was a success, and even got a bit of a Superman/Flash race: My son and I were both wearing Flash T-shirts, and we started off next to a family wearing Superman shirts!

This year’s walk is coming up in October, and so I’m reaching out again.

Food allergies aren’t like hay fever, and they’re more than just hives. Anaphylactic shock can kill in minutes.  I have a severe allergy to peanuts, and I always carry an epinephrine injector everywhere I go, just in case I miss something on an ingredient list, or in case someone preparing the food mixes things up.*

There’s no cure yet for food allergies, and researchers are still trying to determine just what causes them in the first place. 15 million people in the US alone have food allergies, 6 million of them children. As a parent, it’s frustrating not knowing whether I’m doing the right thing to keep my son from developing the kinds of allergies that I have.

Epi-Pen auto-injector

The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network is dedicated to promoting research, awareness and education about food allergies, and providing advocacy on behalf of those living with them. One of FAAN’s big pushes this year has been to encourage schools to keep a spare epinephrine injector on hand — and get laws in place allowing personnel to administer it.  Often, a child’s first-ever allergic reaction happens at school, before they’ve even been prescribed medication. On the research front, they’re supporting a clinical trial in suppressing peanut allergy through desensitization.

Please support my fundraising efforts with a tax-deductible donation. Even a small donation helps.

If you can’t contribute, but would still like to help, I’d appreciate it if you’d spread the word. Please use this link: http://hyperborea.org/allergywalk

Thank you for your support,
–Kelson

FAAN Walk for Food Allergy

*Mistakes happen more often than you might want to believe.  Last month my family flew to Chicago for Worldcon. The night we arrived, we ate at the hotel restaurant. The kids’ menu featured a Sunbutter sandwich (made with sunflower seed butter), but they brought us an actual PBJ. I don’t know yet if my son has inherited my peanut allergy, but I didn’t want to find out the hard way late at night, in a strange city thousands of miles from home. Thankfully nothing happened, as my wife caught it before he tried to eat it, but if she’d missed it, and he had turned out to be allergic…

Photo Credits:
Best Foot Forward by Jason Rogers (used under CC BY 2.0 license)
Epi-pen by Kelson Vibber

Do you want the Internet to be Censored?

If you live in the US and you use the Internet, you need to know about this. There are two proposed laws, SOPA and Protect IP, that would set up a system to block access to websites deemed to be “infringing,” in the name of stopping piracy. Of course, “infringing” could refer to the actions of one user on a large site, like, say, Facebook or Wikipedia. Imagine if someone at Warner Bros. filed a complaint about someone’s fan art on DeviantArt, and the government blocked access to the entire site. Sort of like shutting down an entire mall because one shopper was accused (not even proven!) of wearing a counterfeit Rolex.

Of course, once a system like this is in place, we all know it’ll never be abused, right?

And that’s not even getting into the technical implications of the bills, which would put an extra burden on tech startups and actually undermine efforts by the US government itself to make the internet more secure.

████, the ████ ████ █████ ██████ the ████████ ██████ the US in the ████ of ████████ ██████ (█████ it ██████’t), isn’t ████ yet. In ████, it’s █████ to a ████ ████ ████.

Uncensor This

(Cross-posted from K-Squared Ramblings)

Superman vs. the Flash, for Charity

Thought you’d all get a kick out of this story from the Food Allergy Walk this weekend: My son and I both wore Flash T-shirts. (He “walked” the event in a stroller, since he’s mostly crawling.) As we started off, I noticed that the family walking next to us was all wearing Superman T-shirts.

Technically it wasn’t a race, but for the record: We finished first!

More at my other blog.

When PBJ Can Kill — 2 Days Left to Raise Funds for Food Allergies

This weekend, I’m walking to raise funds for research and education in the FAAN Walk for Food Allergy. I have life-threatening allergies myself, and while my son hasn’t shown any signs yet, the medical community is still trying to determine what causes people to develop allergies. It would be great if they find a way to guarantee that he won’t inherit them, or at least to make life safer for him than it has been for me.

A huge thank-you to Damon, Devin, Greg, Jesse and Lia for sponsoring me after my first post about the event. It’s coming up this Sunday in Santa Monica, California (near Los Angeles), and FAAN has other walks planned across the country.

You can help with any amount down to US $10. If you’d like to contribute, please donate at my fundraising page.

As I write this, I’m $250 away from the #10 spot on the top 10 list for the Los Angeles walk. Anyone want to help push me into the top 10?

Thank you!

Help Me Raise Funds for Food Allergy Research

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. Continue reading