August 10, 2013

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Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.  – Dr. Suess

FOCUS:  Life Unscripted

Each year we participate in the Food Allergy & Research Education (FARE) Walk, which raises money to support food allergy education, research, advocacy and awareness.  Researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies.  The most common triggers are wheat, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, dairy, eggs, fish and shellfish.   This potentially deadly disease affects a staggering 1 in 13 children under the age of 18 in the U.S.  alone.  For them, a spontaneous stop at an ice cream shop, or a last minute pizza party with friends can turn into a potentially life-threatening event.  My son has been allergic to peanuts since age two, and so we are acutely aware of just how dangerous food allergies can be.

Although people with food allergies can feel isolated from their peers, participation in events such as the FARE Walk helps them realize that there are countless others just like them hoping for a cure to this disease.  Seeing all of the children at the event is bittersweet.  On the one hand, it is wonderful to see them having so much fun, running around and playing games in their costumes emblazoned with tongue-in-cheek team names such as the ‘Dairy Errors’ or the ‘Allergators’.’  On the other hand, it is staggering to see the number of kids that are dealing with this disease on a daily basis.  Food allergies are on the rise in industrialized nations, but there is no clear answer as to why.  Hopefully, through events such as the FARE Walk, researchers can obtain the funding they need to find a cure.

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