FARE Food Allergy Fundraising Champion: Mike Monroe

Think about the last time you went to the gym or out for a run – how long did you exercise? Thirty minutes? One hour? Now picture yourself sitting down at a rowing machine and not stopping for 24 hours straight. That is what Mike Monroe - food allergy dad, extreme athlete and former Marine - will attempt to accomplish on May 17. Mike hopes to break the indoor rowing machine record for his age/weight, which will require him to row 276,917 meters, with the goal of raising $50,000 to benefit FARE.

We asked Mike a few questions about his event to kick off a new series of blog posts that will highlight some of our FARE Food Allergy Fundraising Champions. Over the years, our supporters have organized some incredible fundraisers in support of food allergy education, advocacy, awareness and research. We'll be posting their stories periodically to highlight their contributions and show innovative ways that you can get involved with raising funds for and awareness about food allergies.

What is your connection to food allergies?
My 8-year-old son, Miles, has severe food allergies. He is allergic to wheat, milk, eggs and nuts. He is an amazing little boy and it breaks my heart when he gets upset about being different.

Tell us about your fundraiser. How did you think of the idea?
I am going to row on an indoor rowing machine for 24 hours. I want to try to break the known record for my age/weight class. I thought of the idea because I wanted to raise money to help with clinical trials for kids with food allergies. I wanted to do something that was just crazy enough that it would get people’s attention and make them want to donate. I also wanted to do something that was new to me so I could challenge myself.

How can others get involved?
There are a few ways:

  1. You can go to my website and make a donation. I am trying to raise $50,000 in donations and every little bit helps.   
  2. You can row alongside me!  On the website, you can sign up to "Participate."  For a $50 donation you can row for 30 minutes to show your support. 
  3. You can simply spread the word via friends and family.  Share the web link, post to Facebook and Twitter, etc. 
  4. Visit the Sport&Health Club in Old Town Alexandria between noon on Friday, May 17 and noon on Saturday, May 18 and cheer me on a bit. 

Why did you decide to get involved with FARE in particular?

My wife and I attended a fundraiser last year that was hosted by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). I met Maria Acebal (former FAAN CEO) and Dr. Hemant Sharma, who is now Miles' allergist. FARE has been amazing in helping me put this together.

What’s been the best part about running this event/fundraiser?
I am fueled to reach my fundraising goal by my son and the other kids out there who suffer from food allergies. We need to figure this out and hopefully my efforts will help.

We'd like to thank Mike for his generosity and invite you to visit his FARE webpage for more information. If you would like to take on a physical challenge (such as a marathon or 5K) on behalf of FARE or set up a campaign asking friends to give to FARE in lieu of special occasion gifts, please contact your regional office for more information.