Your special week is coming up! Food Allergy Awareness Week is May 10-16 and this is a special opportunity to celebrate YOU and your loved ones who live with food allergies. It is also an amazing opportunity to shed light on food allergies and anaphylaxis to those around us.
There are so many ways to get involved, to raise awareness and to educate others. It can happen in your child’s school, online, in your community or simple in your family circle. For myself, it went as far as going back to school and becoming a Board Certified Health Coach so I could educate others on how to live with food allergies.
Before that though, education started in our home and then spread to everyone we crossed paths with. Friends, the occasional babysitter, church and eventually school. Initially it was about educating people on what foods to avoid and how to use an epi-pan, but then it became much more intimate.
It was sharing the severity and the details about what coming into contact with specific foods does to you or your loved one. It’s about the life changes that have to take place to keep one safe. It’s the events you miss out on or the precautions that have to be made in order to participate. It’s about sharing the tears, the heartache, and the feeling of being alone.
I have found that when people around me really understand how food allergies affect every aspect of our life and the decisions that have to be made, they are then more willing to be an advocate as well. Because of that, I created a blog to be honest about life with food allergies, to provide support and most of all, to share yummy recipes with people I may never meet in person.
Making a difference doesn’t have to be about becoming a health coach or writing a blog. It’s about using your voice, your gifts, your resources and opportunities to support and educate others on food allergies. How that looks for each of you could be different. Here are a few ways you can get involved:
1. Educate the staff and students at school by holding an assembly, asking them to post flyers or reading books and doing activity sheets that talk about food allergies.
2. Use social media to share information during Food Allergy Awareness Week and encourage friends and family to get involved.
3. Contact your local media outlets to share your story about food allergies.
4. Request your local official make a proclamation recognizing Food Allergy Week.
5. Participate in a fundraiser or add a donation jar to your office to go towards FARE.
However you choose to participate, you are spreading the word and bringing awareness to others. That, in turn, helps make it a safer place for those with food allergies.