Hi everyone! Welcome to the Food Allergy Website, I am so glad you are here! I have been wanting to do this for a very long time. I am an allergy mom, professional cook, school nutrition staffer and food writer. Previously I was the executive director and founder of a 501(c)3 organization, the public relations director of a nonprofit community center, cooking instructor, corporate event planner, marketing vice president, career counselor and social worker. All these jobs have given me the skills to deal with food allergy management. I consider myself part private cook, part nutritionist, and part therapist.
As you can probably tell from the name of this blog, I was a pscyh major! I graduated in 1990 with a BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, and in 1992 with my MSW from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. I am a native Jersey Girl, having lived in Roseland, then Mendham then Westfield. Now I live in Marblehead, MA with my husband, two daughters and our cavechon Bailey.
I dedicate this website to my daughter Sara who has taught me so much about how to take care of other people. When my daughter was diagnosed with multiple food allergies at age 5, including peanuts, tree nuts, soy protein, peas, chickpeas, and lentils, I instantly became an advocate for food safety. From kindergarten to college, and from summer camps to vacations in foreign countries, we have learned how to stay as safe as possible. There were a few bumps along the way, including several trips to the ER, many tears when people didn't understand, and the fear and anxiety that goes along with life with severe food allergies.
A week after I dropped her off at college she had an anaphylactic allergic reaction at her first football game. Here it was. She used epipen and was fine after 4 hours in hospital, but my heart broke a little more that night. Even though she is grown up and living independently (well somewhat..) she is still so vulnerable and so far away. I can never really protect her. But after a number of reactions, she is smart enough to protect herself. In that way, I believe I have succeeded as a parent. All that repetitive drumming into her head "bring your epipen" really paid off. So to all you allergy moms and dads, I get it. It's so complex but teach your kids well and they might surprise you.
With that in mind, I hope to build a community at the Food Allergy Website where we can learn from each other, discuss relevant topics in the news, share recipes, compare medical research and treatment options and support one another. I will be posting lots of blogs and reposting other blogs, articles and columns that are related to our mission. If you are a writer and have something to share, please send it to me! Contact me here.
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