Westchester FAAN Walk, 2010

The walk starts:

This past Saturday was the first FAAN walk in Westchester, NY, which is about thirty minutes north of Manhattan. It was a truly glorious morning. Hundreds of families, grandparents and siblings were there, all in support of their food allergic family members. We walked around a track, overlooking the Long Island sound, entertained by Spider-man and Scooby-Doo.

Scooby entertains all:

At the end of the walk, there were musicians, safe treats from Divvies and Enjoy Life (and others), a fire truck to visit and jumpy castles. The goal was to raise $30,000; they raised over $130,000, all for FAAN. I was honored to join this year’s walk not only representing of all of us adult allergic girls and guys but to lend some support to a dear friend.

My best friend from grade school, Aimee and her beautiful family walked for the first time this year:

Aimee is one of my original safe friends.

Her three-year old daughter Kate developed severe peanut allergies this past year. Neither she, her husband nor their older daughter, seven-year old Hannah have any food allergies. The only person she knew with food allergies, before this, was me.

So, after Kate had a scary severe allergic reaction to a peanut butter cookies last year, Aimee and her family did what so many of you incredible food allergy mommies and daddies [and extended family members] do: they kicked into major parent mode, getting educated about food allergies [I recommended Dr Wood’s book as a primer, next year I’ll recommend Allergic Girl too for the how tos of food allergies], seeing the best qualified board certified allergist so they could to get the information they need about staying safe, medications and emergency plans; became active with FAAN and other email food allergy groups; learned how to advocate for little Kate; and helped both of their children cope with all of the new food rules. I’ve been there to help Aimee and her husband with all of this new information because parents need support, too. It’s been an adjustment to be sure, but Aimee has been able to find many positives about food allergies: like she and her family eat healthier than they ever have before.

My main takeaway from this event was the pure joy and support that is out there for the food allergic community and I was so thrilled to be a part of it.


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