FARE Leadership Spotlight - August 2021
Meet Carlo Steinman, a member of FARE’s Rising Leaders Committee, and learn a little more about him!
- What's your name, where are you from, and what is your food allergy connection?
My name is Carlo Steinman, and I was born and raised in New York City. I was first diagnosed with food allergies as an infant, when my pediatrician recommended I get tested. In those days, that was a much more difficult proposition than it is today, so my parents had to take me down to Baltimore, where Dr. Hugh Sampson was at the time. Needless to say, they were very grateful when he moved to New York City a few years later. Today, I am allergic to dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, sesame and shellfish.
- What drew you to FARE? Why do you support FARE?
I've been involved with FARE and its predecessor FAAN (Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network) for almost as long as I can remember. I still have a certificate from contributing to the Food Allergy News for Kids when I was 7 or 8. I started going to the regional conference in Tarrytown, New York when I was in middle school, and I was a keynote speaker at the first Teen Summit a few years after that. What I've always loved about FARE is how it brings people together. I benefited so much from hearing the experiences of my peers when I was growing up. I hope that through my work with FARE I am able to be the same sort of mentor to younger people with food allergies. FARE works to clear barriers for people with food allergies, and I love being part of that work, especially as I grow and have new life experiences and face new challenges with my allergies in both professional and personal settings.
- When you think of FARE, what first comes to mind?
People. To me, FARE has always meant a place where I could be around and learn from people that knew what I was going through, in a way that nobody else did. People may come from all over the country and have all different allergies, but we all know what each other is going through. Even if we're not at the same stages in life, we still experience similar challenges and emotions. FARE works so well to bring people together and to allow us to support one another. I'm deeply grateful to have learned from so many people I've met through FARE, and I hope that I'm able to help create the same environment for others.
- What is one thing you would tell any food-allergic person or parent/guardian of a food-allergic person?
Food allergies can be a source of strength. While it's not always easy or fun, having food allergies forces you to become a much more mature and competent person. The little things we do every day to keep ourselves safe build incredible skills around sticking up for ourselves, trusting our instincts, and knowing how to adapt to changing scenarios. As I've gotten older, I've always been so grateful that I have a firm sense of who I am and what I need to do for myself, and I believe that is thanks to my allergies.
- What is the best food allergy advice you ever received?
Your allergies don't have to define you. They can be as much or as little of your identity as you want them to be, because you are a person with so much more to offer than just some restrictions you have when it's mealtime.
- What is your favorite hobby or pastime?
I like to read, and I'm also a big baseball fan. In 2019, a friend and I went to London to see the Yankees play the Red Sox!
- What is your favorite Top-9-free summer treat?
I love an Italian ice on a hot summer day!