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March 26, 2008

Trace Adkins for Food Allergies

I'm sure those of us familiar with food allergies might also be aware that Trace Adkins is up for a pretty hefty sum of money to donate to a charity of his choice. He is still in the running on NBC's show “The Celebrity Apprentice.” His charity contribution could be huge for all of us because he's chosen to give the money to The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN).

According to a recent FAAN article, "Adkins is competing in business-driven tasks around New York City to raise money and awareness for FAAN, his designated charity. Throughout the series, over a million dollars will be raised for various charities, and the winner who gets crowned as the first “Celebrity Apprentice” will also have the honor of delivering a $250,000 bonus check to their charity of choice."

Trace has a little girl with food allergies. According to FAAN, "it was because of his daughter’s experience that Trace was motivated to join the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). “I know firsthand how important FAAN’s efforts to increase funding for food allergy research are,” says Trace. He and his family turn to FAAN for help managing Brianna’s food allergies, and now Trace is helping FAAN as its national spokesperson." To learn more about Trace Adkins and his connection with FAAN, check out FAAN's website.

Go to FAAN or NBC and vote yes for Trace!!

Posted by Ann Marie at 1:38 PM | Comments (1)

March 24, 2008

Hugh Sampson - a trusted name in food allergies

For many years now, I've been receiving newsletters from the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) and browsing the internet and medical journals regarding food allergy research. Dr. Hugh Sampson's name appears on many of the articles and studies in the food allergy field. According to the Hamilton College newsletter, Dr. Hugh A. Sampson was elected president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) during its 2008 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. He will serve as president through March 2009.

I totally respect any article this man writes. I know the information will be accurate and up-to-date and he offers great, real-life examples of living with food allergies. I've come across some whack-job recommendations and opinions that are written well enough to fool someone new to the whole food allergy topic. I recommend that we all add Dr. Sampson to our Rolodex of respected allergy experts. And any time we read something authored by him, we should really stop and listen to what he is saying.

According to the Hamiliton College newsletter, Dr. Sampson's "current NIH-funded research projects include studies of the Immunologic Basis of Cow Milk-Induced Hypersensitivities, the Immunobiology of Peanut Allergy and its Treatment, Immunoprophylaxis in the Primary Prevention of Allergic Disease, Therapeutic Effect of Chinese Herbal Medicine on Food Allergy, and Immunologic Approaches to Reduce Asthma.

"He is also the principal investigator in the Food Allergy Resource Initiative, in which a serum bank and registry of patients with well-characterized IgE-mediated reactions to a wide variety of foods is being established, along with a repository of cDNA expression vectors for all major food allergens."

Posted by Ann Marie at 1:20 PM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2008

Some good food allergy advice

I came across a website that had some good advice for cooking with food allergies. I'm sure they won't mind if I direct you to it. It's called The Hampton Roads Food Allergy Connection. Check it out!

Posted by Ann Marie at 8:36 AM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2008

Braces and food allergies

Who knew that being the parent of a child with braces and being the parent of a child with food allergies would arouse the same feelings? I was doing some shopping for Easter candy the other day, and as always, I was diligently reading the ingredient lists. Then I picked up some jelly beans. Being familiar with so many different jelly bean brands comes with years of experience! So I knew right away many bags would carry the label "may contain traces of nuts, eggs, etc."

Then an odd train of thoughts popped into my head: hey, if I buy jelly beans than my daughter with braces won't be able to eat them, and she'll feel bad because she usually likes them, and this will cause negative feelings not only on Easter morning, but every time thereafter that my other kids want to eat something from their Easter baskets.

Hmmm, there was something strangely familiar with this thought process. Except this was the first time it didn't fall under the big umbrella of food allergies, even though this particular daughter has food allergies. I guess it must pull at the parenting strings of "try to make every child feel as though they are the most important." I weighed it out in my mind: how bad the child with braces will feel if the others get jelly beans vs. how bad the others will feel if they don't get any jellybeans. I decided everybody would be just as happy with nut free chocolate.

So this Easter, we asked the Easter Bunny to skip the jelly beans. I'm hoping my other kids won't miss them too much. And I know that my dentist would be giving me the big thumbs up if he heard of my decision.

Posted by Ann Marie at 8:15 AM | Comments (0)

March 8, 2008

Easter eggs and tradition

With Easter coming up, I'm sure we share some of the same feelings when it comes to celebrating Easter with food allergies. I've always wanted to pass on to my children my own childhood tradition of coloring and decorating Easter eggs. But with two children allergic to eggs, I've had to do some revising. When they were younger, I found cloth eggs with picture outlines on them that they could color. It was fun and safe and we could get them out year after year.

Now that my children are getting older, the ones without food allergies see the egg decorating kits in the stores and really want to try it out. I'm back to the same old question, how do I provide my children with the opportunity to (fill in the blank here) at the same time keeping them safe? And if it isn't really safe for my children with food allergies, do I allow my other children the opportunity or do we just skip it completely?

Last year I bought some ceramic eggs that my children will be painting this week. I also bought an Easter egg decorating kit from the grocery store at the persistence of my non-food allergic child. I will let all of my kids join in this activity. I figure if my daughters aren't touching the eggs but only dipping them in the dye, things should be safe. I already know that my one daughter who is allergic to eggs will feel left out when we bring them out on Easter. This is where I'm torn. I guess there's a life lesson here, enjoy the part of the activities you can do and then move on.

We still plan on celebrating Easter like we've always done, this year we'll just add in one extra activity!

Posted by Ann Marie at 7:45 PM | Comments (0)

March 5, 2008

Alternative Easter egg fun

While browsing the web for Easter egg ideas for those children with food allergies, I came across a pretty cool site. Here are some of the tips they gave for children allergic to eggs but still wanting to enjoy some Easter tradition. (the following is adapted from kidswithfoodallergies.org)

Instead of real eggs, try:

1. Wood Eggs - paint, carve or decorate them with beads and jewels.

2. Plastic Eggs - paint and decorate with stickers.

3. Styrofoam® Eggs - paint or decorate with glitter.

4. Plaster Eggs

You can even find brand new egg cartons for storage at eggcartons.com

Happy decorating!

Posted by Ann Marie at 8:03 PM | Comments (0)