Sunday, April 13, 2008
Walk for Food Allergies
Food allergies are on the rise in children. Currently, it is estimated that three million children in the United States alone suffer from food allergies. Food allergies can be fatal – it is estimated that food allergy-induced anaphylaxis accounts for 100 to 200 deaths per year in the United States. [Source: FAAN]
Food allergies affect the every day lives of those who suffer from them, as well as their family. It take constant vigilance to keep a child with food allergies safe, as complete avoidance is the ONLY way to avoid a reaction. There is currently NO cure for food allergies.
Eight foods account for 90% of all food allergies – those are milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shell fish. It is possible to develop a food allergy at any age and at any point in your life.
When Kayla was first diagnosed with her dairy allergy, we were told that the odds were she would outgrow it by the age of three and, if not, almost definitely by the age of five. As of now, at three and a half, she has not outgrown her allergy. Milk is the most common food allergy, especially in children. And, until recently, it was thought to be one of the ones most often outgrown. But recent studies have shown that dairy allergies are becoming more persistent. The current numbers (from a 2007 study) show that children with a dairy allergy have the following chance of outgrowing their allergy:
19% will outgrow it by the age of four (Kayla will be four in August and has so far NOT outgrown her allergy)
42% will outgrow it by the age of eight
79% will outgrow it by the age of 16
[Source: her allergist & FAAN]
This is a huge difference from what we were initially told three years ago.
The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) was founded in 1991 and is a great source of information for those who live with food allergies. They work as an information source and an advocacy group, as well as working on research and publications on food allergies. Their mission is as follows:
“To raise public awareness, to provide advocacy and education, and to advance research on behalf of all those affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis.”
On August 23, 2008, I will be participating in FAAN’s Walk for Food Allergy: Moving toward a Cure in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. I am doing this to help raise awareness of food allergies and to help educate those in our lives, as well as others on the dangers and trials of living with food allergies. My goal is to raise money to aid in FAAN’s education of others, as well as the research for finding a cure.
I have invited both friends and family to join me and help to raise money in Kayla’s name for FAAN. FAAN is also allowing Virtual Walkers for those who want to contribute but can not attend a walk or who do not have a walk location near them.
I anyone is interested in donating to FAAN you can do so by clicking on the button above or on the button in my side bar. You can also visit my page and view our progress over the next few months here.
For those interested in how much of the donations actually go to FAAN's goals, you can view that here.