All of the writers on the “Adults with Allergies” team are very happy to share the news that Anaphylaxis Canada has rebranded as Food Allergy Canada.
This blog is only one of many of their resources available and we can assure that their commitment to adults at risk for anaphylaxis has not changed. We look forward to providing you more great articles, advice and tips under their new banner!
Anaphylaxis Canada is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the sixth annual Sabrina Shannon Memorial Award.
This award is dedicated to Sabrina Shannon, an inspiring teenager who suffered a fatal anaphylactic reaction in 2003. During her life, Sabrina helped to raise awareness about food allergy by creating a first-person radio documentary, “A Nutty Tale,” which aired on CBC Radio in 2001. Since her passing, Sabrina’s parents and other members of the allergy community have kept Sabrina’s spirit alive by advocating for allergy-aware school environments. In 2005, Sabrina’s Law was passed in Ontario, resulting in landmark legislation that has influenced school anaphylaxis policies across Canada.
Two awards of $1,000 each will be granted to students entering their first year or continuing their studies at a post-secondary institution.
Applications will be evaluated on a submission essay which describes the student’s efforts to raise awareness about severe allergies and anaphylaxis in their schools or communities.
The application form can be downloaded from Anaphylaxis Canada’s youth website http://www.whyriskit.ca. All applications must be submitted by June 19th, 2015.
I get so excited when I receive a wedding invitation in the mail. I love hearing that my friends or families have found that special someone and I love joining in on the celebration!
However, there is usually one slip of paper that comes along with the invitation that brings my thoughts away from the ceremony, the speeches and the party. I’m talking about that slip that asks you to indicate your food selection for the reception.
I love seeing a few options on this slip, as there are usually a couple options I can cross off right away. I am allergic to seafood, and fish is usually one of those options. That typically leaves me analyzing the meat and vegetarian dishes. More information is always better, but sometimes it just says meat with a special sauce, or vegetables with certain fixings. What’s in that special sauce? What on earth…
Two years ago I went on a blind date. The date wasn’t a romantic match; but he told me about musical improv-improvisational comedy created in a musical theater form. I had never done anything like improvisational comedy before; but I knew I loved to sing and I loved musical theater. So, a few months later, I signed up for my first class. Being silly, on stage, with a group of strangers was pretty terrifying. But there was a small part of me that also found it exhilarating. The more I practiced, the more classes I took, the more the terror was replaced by joy.
The core premise of improv is to say “Yes, and” to your partner. It does not simply involve being spontaneous. It involved saying ‘yes’ to everything presented to you in a theatrical scene (which hopefully will open up the scene to something potentially funny or brilliant or clever, goofy or simply bring the scene to the next place.
As someone who grew up with food allergies, asthma, allergies and eczema, my childhood was filled with a lot of “Yes, but.” “Yes, I’d love to come over for a play date, BUT I can’t because you have dogs and I’ll have asthma issues and allergy issues.” Or, “Yes, I’d love to have a piece of that German Chocolate Cake. BUT it has tree nuts and I’m allergic.” Or, “Yes, I’d love to go outside and ride our bikes. BUT I’ll have asthma and allergy issues.” Once I left home for college, as a young adult, I set out to discover how to expand my horizons while remaining safe. That is to say, how to add more ‘yeses’ to my life despite the ‘buts’.
Throughout my adult life, especially these last eight years of being a food allergy counselor, author and speaker, that has been my task: how to add more ‘yes’ to a life that has some definite ‘buts’ and ‘nos’.
The facts of food allergies and anaphylaxis are clear. Food allergies are real and serious. Have a plan, know your triggers. and know what to do in case of an emergency. Carry your emergency medications on your person at all times as anaphylaxis is a swift and severe reaction that can be fatal. Epinephrine auto-injectors are the first line of defense in a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction.
Those facts are real and cannot be ignored; and those facts can feel like the biggest ‘Nos’ to having a life. No, you can’t eat that cookie without reading the label. Or, No you can’t just have a bit of that cake without asking what’s in it. Or, No you can’t leave your bag or purse with your medications at home when you hang with friends. And, especially: No, you can’t kiss someone who just ate your allergen.
So, how does anyone expand one’s horizons (say yes to fun, connection, joy, expansion, intimacy) while remaining safe (saying no to allergic triggers) especially when food and food-related events seem to be the focus at home, with family, with friends, at college, at work, traveling and/or on romantic dates?
Put simply, by knowing this. Life is more than food and who you are as a person is bigger than simply someone with food allergies. Finding your ‘YES’ as an adult is about exploring, uncovering, and developing who you are as a person, your interests, your passions, your creative outlets, your drives, your spirituality, your athleticism, your focus, and your skills.
We are really happy that you’ve found our blog and hope it can be a valuable resource for you. We try to cover topics that are unique to allergic adults, such as allergies in the workplace, relationships, travel and more! All with the focus on YOU – an allergic adult. We have an active team of writers who will be providing stories, tips, and advice on various topics through their own experiences managing allergies.
Please feel free to browse around our previous posts and be sure to subscribe to receive notifications when our latest posts are published. If you would like to see certain topics get covered, please feel free to get in touch on our contact page – we would love to hear from you!