Spring Into Action: Brandy and Lauren’s Story
Brandy’s daughter, Lauren, was first diagnosed with food allergies as an infant. Since then, she and Lauren have been involved in many different areas of FARE, most recently springing into action by advocating for national legislation to require labeling of sesame as the ninth most common allergen. They share their story:
My daughter Lauren was first diagnosed with food allergies when she was a few months old. That was 22 years ago. At the time I felt very alone in my struggle to understand how to keep her safe and healthy. There was no internet full of information and no groups that I knew of to help me navigate everyday life. Fortunately, I met a friend who invited me to a FAAN event where I met an amazing group of women from my town who have been part my support system to this very day. That group became the Food Allergy Initiative of Connecticut, a FARE-sponsored support group.
Lauren and I have been part of FARE since both of their infancies. With FARE’s help, she has learned to advocate for herself and others. When she became a teenager, Lauren and I attended a FARE conference with separate sessions for teens and parents. There she learned how to take the next steps of living with food allergies as a young adult, and she was able to meet other local teens with food allergies.
I have grown up with the support of FARE. As a teenager, I became more personally active as an advocate, serving on a local panel of teens to instruct younger children and their parents and as a Teen Advisor. I even interned at one of the FARE offices one summer. With my mom, I have been involved in our local FARE’s Food Allergy Heroes Walk and am volunteering at local awareness and advocacy events with FARE representatives.
We have taken the approach of training one person at a time and teaching everyone we meet about food allergies. Each new person will hopefully exponentially increase awareness and knowledge about food allergies, making the world a safer place for all. With the help of FARE, we are advocating for national legislation to add sesame as the ninth most common allergen for labeling and, on a local level, we are hoping to make a difference with a restaurant training bill.
The support of FARE in our lives has been invaluable. Until there is a cure, the most important thing we can do is to support the organization that is continually working to provide the best care for our friends and family members with anaphylactic food allergies.
You can spring into action for FARE just like Brandy and Lauren. By making a gift today, you ensure the creation of materials and resources to help the 15 million Americans with food allergies – including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis – live well every day. Donate today.
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