#MyCauseMyCleats Highlights the Food Allergy Community

Photo Credit: New England Patriots

Earlier this month, the New England Patriots’ Alan Branch brought attention to the food allergy community by naming FARE as his choice for the National Football League’s #MyCauseMyCleats campaign. FARE asked Alan and his wife Ashley to share a little more about their food allergy journey and why they chose FARE.


Tell us about your family’s food allergy journey.

Although we were not aware yet, our food allergy journey started around May 2013. Our second daughter was born with allergies that were diagnosed around September 2013. We currently avoid peanuts, tree nuts, soy, chicken, eggs, and pineapple. Thankfully her pediatrician at the time recognized that her severe eczema could more than likely be related to food allergies. Since that day we started our crash course lessons on food allergies. I (Ashley) started finding recipes and alternatives to our favorite everyday foods. Going out to eat is a constant struggle, as are pot-lucks…basically eating anywhere other than our house. This journey has been scary and frustrating at times, but I have found a new passion for educating myself, our family/friends, and the community about living with food allergies.


How did you learn of FARE and why did you choose FARE as your cause for #MyCauseMyCleats?

I wish I could pinpoint exactly where I learned about FARE, but I have been fortunate to have so many people help me and give me resources to look into throughout this journey. I'm pretty sure an allergist pointed me in the direction of FARE. We decided to bring awareness to FARE, because this is an organization that has been a go-to resource for our family.


What inspired the design on your cleats?

The designs for the cleats came from the FARE logo, as well as the "be a food allergy hero" campaign. Since we have been introduced to FARE because of our daughter's allergies, we wanted to incorporate something to represent her, too. Joe V with Joe V Designs was able to make the superhero look like our daughter, Ausha.


How did your fans and the community respond to the campaign?

I think the community and fans reacted positively to the campaign. We were able to bring some awareness and dialogue to our community regarding FARE and what they stand for.


What is your hope for the future for the food allergy community?

My immediate hope is that everyone is more aware of the severity of food allergies.


Thank you, Alan and Ashley, for bringing awareness to the food allergy community and beyond!  Branch’s custom, signed #MyCauseMyCleats cleats are now up for auction through the end of 2017, with all proceeds going directly to FARE. Be sure to check them out and share with your community!

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