Extreme Athlete Strives for Rowing Record and Cure for Food Allergies

MCLEAN, Va. (May 10, 2013) – On May 17, Mike Monroe, a renowned extreme athlete, will attempt to break a world rowing record in honor of his 8-year-old son Miles and the 15 million Americans with food allergies. Monroe, an former Marine who has been through some of the toughest training the military has to offer, will have 24 hours to set a new indoor rowing machine record for his age and weight – and to raise $50,000 for Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a safe and inclusive world for people with food allergies.

Mike’s “Odyssey Against Food Allergies” begins at noon on Friday, May 17 at the Sport&Health Club in Old Town, Alexandria, and ends at noon on Saturday. The elite athlete has already raised more than a $350k for charities through extreme fitness competitions. Supporters can test their stamina by rowing at Mike’s side for a donation, or make a general donation to FARE.

“I am doing this for my son, who crushes my soul every time he says he just wants to be a regular kid,” Monroe said. “I am fueled to reach my fundraising goal by my son and the other kids out there who suffer from food allergies.”

Miles is one of 5.9 million children in the U.S. who have food allergies. Nearly 40 percent of these children have already experienced a severe or life-threatening reaction, such as anaphylaxis.

“Studies have documented the dramatic rise in food allergies,” said John L. Lehr, chief executive officer of FARE. “But we are making progress in developing life-saving treatments and programs. Thanks to Mike and our generous supporters across the country, we will meet the challenge of making the world safe for people with food allergies.”

Staff members at Sport&Health have been actively involved in planning Monroe’s event.

“Sport&Health is thrilled to host the ‘Odyssey Against Food Allergies’ endurance challenge and provide support to a great cause and a local community member,” said Teri Bothwell, corporate director of Group Fitness at Sport&Health. “This is a great opportunity to bring awareness to the need for food allergy research and education while also promoting fitness.”

To learn more, register for a rowing session with Monroe, or make a donation, visit Monroe’s “Odyssey Against Food Allergies” page online.


Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis. This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in every 13 children in the U.S. – or roughly two in every classroom. FARE’s mission is to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies, and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments. Our work is organized around three core tenets: LIFE – support the ability of individuals with food allergies to live safe, productive lives with the respect of others through our education and advocacy initiatives; HEALTH – enhance the healthcare access of individuals with food allergies to state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment; and HOPE – encourage and fund research in both industry and academia that promises new therapies to improve the allergic condition. For more information, please visit www.foodallergy.org and find us on Twitter@FoodAllergy, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest.

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