#FoodAllergyWalk #FAREWalk #OurStory

food-allergies

At the end of October, we will walk for awareness for food allergies.
Here is our story:

At age 4 she was diagnosed with anaphylaxis to tree nuts.
Jade was staying with my mom while hubby and I went on a fishing date. We didn’t go far, less than 10 minutes away. My mom wanted to feed Jade some yogurt while we were away. No big deal. A kid has to eat and why not make it healthy. So, my mom fixed yogurt with crushed walnuts and mixed it and gave it to Jade. Jade immediately ran to the bathroom spitting out the grit of walnuts into the toilet. She was scrapping her tongue with her teeth, she was doing everything in her power to get rid of whatever was in her mouth. Jade then started telling her Nana she needed a hospital. Now, understand this is a 4-year-old. She was pointing out the front door saying, “I need a doctor. I need the hospital.” At this point my mom calls me to let me know something might be wrong. Hubby and I load up to head to my mom’s.
We walk in to my daughter still in a panic kind of state. She wasn’t swelling, no visual signs of anything wrong, so I told my mom to give her some Benadryl and I would take her home to watch her through the night. We load up, takes about 20 minutes to get back to our house. It is dark out, I carry Jade inside.
Once inside, I put Jade on the floor and tell her to go see her Dad, he was in the Kitchen seeing if we had more Benadryl for later. I noticed something not right with her legs and told him to look at her.
He raised her shirt, her short legs and noticed blanket hives, thick looking hives all over her skin where her clothes touched her body. He looked dead at me to say, “We need to go NOW. No waiting. Hives mean Now.”

(more…)

Halloween 2014

This Halloween we was a little more exciting than other years.
I have grown into understanding food allergies a lot more clearly.
As a parent you want the best for your kids, and not everyone will understand the significance of that. I understand that now. Usually people don’t understand unless they been exactly in your shoes. Most people does not understand that a food allergen could potentially kill. Scary to think that, right?!

We went to the FARE Walk 2014 in Atlanta. The support there is simply overwhelming. People who understand you! People who get it. Agh, it is a life saver. That one day you feel like you have all these people to support you. Jade absolutely loves going.
This year we got to add the Teal Pumpkin Project. Here is a bit about it:
A little message from the creator of the Teal Pumpkin Project:

The purpose of the Teal Pumpkin Project:
1. We want to raise awareness of the severity of food allergies and show our support to families of children with food allergies by painting a pumpkin teal in recognition. This is a great opportunity to educate and open communication about this important cause.

2. We want to encourage inclusion for children with food allergies and other dietary restrictions during an activity that is primarily food-focused. A teal pumpkin (or poster) is a great way to show that you have non-food treats available.

It is not our goal to exclude candy from the Halloween tradition but instead encourage others to add a new tradition to ALSO provide a few non-food items as a safe alternative. This will allow many children the opportunity to participate in traditional trick-or-treating on Halloween night, regardless of food-related disabilities.

We need to stop battling on social media –
I encourage everyone to participate in this project with the understanding that this is not a campaign to ban candy nor is it a means to politicize an awareness movement that is simply intended to promote compassion and inclusion. Stay positive and reflect compassion in your own actions and words. We cannot create an inclusive environment for our children by creating more division.

Here are some tips to keep this awareness movement going strong:

1. Talk to your neighbors. Many parents have contacted their neighborhood associations or community boards to encourage participation in this project. If your neighborhood uses a site like nextdoor.com then this is a great way to reach out.

2. Talk to local businesses. There are so many opportunities available for businesses and organizations to be involved, even if they are not passing out treats. Print a copy of the Project Teal Pumpkin (our profile picture) and ask if those establishments will display the sign to show support. If treats will be passed out, ask if they would also provide non-food items as an alternative and provide a copy of the Project Teal sign that indicates non-food treats are available. Do you have a local farm or nursery that could provide teal pumpkins?

3. Talk to your child’s teacher, guidance counselor or school administration. This is a wonderful opportunity to teach children about the importance of inclusion, disability awareness, and/or food allergy safety. Encourage schools to take part in the #TealPumpkinProject and get their permission to hang signs or distribute information to other parents to rally more involvement in your community.

4. Talk to the media. Awareness is at its peak right now in many areas so this is your opportunity to educate the general public in a POSITIVE and informed manner. Know the purpose of the project and how this show of support will encourage respect, compassion, inclusion for children with dietary restrictions, like food allergies. For more information, please visit FACET’s website (Link in the comments below).

We’d love to hear from you! Please comment below to share your ideas and success stories so far with the #TealPumpkinProject …

Thank you for your ongoing support of our awareness efforts!
Blessings,
Becky Basalone
Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee

I hope in the years to come we see more people who support such an amazing opportunity.

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