I am running the NYC Half Marathon in support of Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) and my sister, Katelyn. There are 15 million children and adults living with life threatening food allergies. My sister has been one of them since she was 11 months old. There is no cure and treatment consists of avoidance/management of reactions. There are an estimated 150,000 cases of anaphylaxis per year and current evidence suggests that the incidence is increasing. As food allergies continue to emerge as a major public health concern continued improvement in diagnosis, prevention, education, and treatment have never been more important.
While it is not always realized, the diagnosis comes with restrictions that extend far beyond a list of foods. It affects the individual living with food allergies as well as everyone around them. From experiencing an anaphylactic reaction, to trying to control an environment, learning code words for ingredients, reading endless labels, educating others, holidays, birthday parties, school, sleepovers, traveling, dining out at restaurants, and more - the impacts are nowhere near inconsequential. And yet my sister will tell you that food allergies have afforded her so many blessings and have helped to shape the person that she is today. While they have the potential to be isolating, she has never allowed her food allergies to be a handicap. She handles every day with strength and grace while also acting as an activist to raise awareness to those around her. It is for this and so many other reasons that I will forever look up to her. My hope is that this fundraiser will help to raise awareness to a cause that is very dear to me, my sister, and our family.
FARE is the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to food allergies and represents a merger between the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) and the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI). FAI is the world's largest source of private funding for food allergy research while FAAN has long served as a trusted source for food allergy related information and resources. The organizations have merged to raise awareness, provide much needed advocacy and education, and advance research on behalf of those affected by food allergies. FARE provides much needed information to families, dieticians, nurses, physicians, school staff, government agencies, as well as food and pharmaceutical industries. Their commitment and dedication is inspiring to all who have been affected by food allergies. Donations will go to FARE to aide in furthering education and to fund research to better understand and find a cure.