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FARE Blog March 23, 2023

FARE Leadership Spotlight – March 2023

Meet food allergy advocate Stacey Saiontz and learn a little more about her!

Stacey and Jared Saiontz.jpg

Stacey Saiontz, a food allergy mom, longtime FARE supporter, and outstanding advocate for food allergy awareness. She's one of the three impactful women FARE recently recognized during Women's History Month. Here, she shares her food allergy journey.

  • What's your name, where are you from, and what is your food allergy connection?

My name is Stacey Saiontz.  My husband Marc and I live in Chappaqua, New York with our two sons. Our youngest son Jared is allergic to milk, egg, oat, rye, barley, sesame, sorghum, millet, teff, quinoa, buckwheat, chia, flax and sunflower.  

  • What drew you to FARE? Why do you support FARE?

My family was first introduced to FARE by our allergist Dr. Hugh Sampson. After learning of our son’s diagnosis, we asked Dr. Sampson what we could do to help those living with food allergies and he introduced us to this organization. We have been involved with FARE ever since. 

  • When you think of FARE, what first comes to mind?

When I think about FARE, I think about community. Through FARE, I was introduced to an incredible network of parents of food allergic children who eagerly offered their advice and support. I am forever grateful for their guidance and friendship. These friends help me navigate how to keep our son safe in daily life, advocate alongside me, continue to help educate the world, and fund research for a cure. For that, I am forever grateful to FARE.  

  • What is one thing you would tell any food-allergic person or parent/guardian of a food-allergic person?

I would tell every food-allergic person that having food allergies will never hold you back in life. You can still do everything you want. You just need to plan ahead.  

  • What is the best food allergy advice you ever received?

The best food allergy advice I have received is “If you are asking if you should use epinephrine, you should use epinephrine."  

  • What inspired you to become a FARE Advocate, and what are your proudest legislative accomplishments?

My son's allergies and the challenges he and others with allergies face led me to become involved with FARE’s advocacy efforts. I felt strongly that we needed to go beyond simply ensuring our own son's safety but to ensuring that all food-allergic children are safe and included. To that end, I reached out to Sara Shannon, whose daughter Sabrina suffered a fatal anaphylactic reaction after eating at a school cafeteria. In spite of facing an unimaginable loss, Sara’s strength led her to help draft a food allergy law in Ontario Canada that was named after her daughter Sabrina. Sara inspired me to try to bring the same efforts to New York State.

My experience with advocacy has taught me that any of us can make a difference with some grit and perseverance. Over the past 13 years I have worked with a team of amazing advocates. Through hard work, we proudly managed to pass several bills in New York to protect those with food allergies, including a stock epinephrine bill, a self carry bill, and a bill proposed by our son Jared that allows school bus drivers to administer epinephrine in an emergency situation. More recently, my son and I successfully advocated for signs to be placed in our local playgrounds detailing how to keep your food-allergic friends safe.

We thank Stacey for her tireless efforts to improve safety and quality of life for the food allergy community. To learn more about becoming a FARE Advocate, click here.


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