FARE Leadership Spotlight - May 2022
Meet Alexa Moss, a Rising Leaders Committee member, and learn a little more about her!
- What is your name, where do you call home, and what is your food allergy connection?
My name is Alexa Moss. I live in New York City and I have had anaphylactic food allergies since before I could remember. I am allergic to peanuts, tree-nuts, finfish, shellfish, and poppy seeds.
- How did you first become involved with FARE?
I have been involved with FARE since its inception 10 years ago! I first started volunteering and joining in on all Community Walks in my area, bringing friends and family together to join in and support FARE’s mission. I remember as a little girl watching my mom get dressed up for the annual FARE Gala or the annual Spring Luncheon; I knew that when I grew up I wanted to continue my active participation and support in the community as the cause was and is near and dear to my heart.
- What is one thing you would tell any food-allergic person or parent/guardian of a food-allergic person?
It may sound cliché, but the one thing I would tell any food-allergic person is that you are not alone! I always felt misunderstood by friends and family when it came to my allergies. If I was anxious about eating or trying a new restaurant, I could expect the usual “You’re fine,” “Just take a breath,” and so on. Once I joined the Rising Leaders Committee and spent some time engaging on a deeper level with the community, I uncovered that there are so many of us who have the same lived experiences of anxiety, feeling uncomfortable and out of place. It is extremely validating and calming to know that there are others who feel the same as I do and whom I can lean on for support in those moments.
- What is the best food allergy advice you ever received?
The best food allergy advice I ever received was from a family friend who was very blunt with me and said, “Don’t let food allergies control your life.” Whenever I am feeling hindered by my allergies, I think back to his words reminding me that I do not have to be defined by my allergies. They are only a small part of who I am, and they have shaped who I am today in so many positive ways.
- What is FARE’s Rising Leaders Committee and how have you been participating in that group?
FARE’s Rising Leaders Committee (RLC) is a group of like-minded young professionals with the same mission – to be leading voices in the food allergy community by supporting FARE’s education, advocacy, and research programs. The RLC is a dynamic group of individuals, all with different interests, backgrounds, and strengths, which allows us to put our heads together and engage others in our community.
As a part of the group, my personal focus and interest is in events and fundraising! We are looking to get more involved as a committee with FARE’s regular programming, in addition to hosting more elevated moments for our own networks.
- Can you tell us about the recent Rising Leaders Committee event?
We just hosted our first event during Food Allergy Awareness Week! On May 12, the team hosted 70+ friends and family members for an intimate happy hour in New York City. This was a first step in kicking-off our team’s initiatives and, given the lack of in-person interactions over the last few years, it was a really special moment for all of us to come together.
- What made Food Allergy Awareness Week 2022 memorable for you?
As I am sure you can imagine, my most memorable moment was hosting the RLC Happy Hour in NYC! Seeing so many people I love coming out to support FARE’s mission and the RLC team was a very proud moment for me personally. In addition, we were able to raise an outstanding amount of funds that will go right back into FARE. It is incredible to think that our committee is playing a part in changing of the lives of so many who deal with food allergies on a daily basis.