More than 12 million people in the Unites States have food allergies; 3 million of those are children. There is no cure and the only treatment is strict avoidance of the foods that can cause the allergic reaction. Within seconds a person can go into anaphylactic shock (or anaphylaxis), which is a severe allergic reaction that can result in unconsciousness and even death. The most common of those allergic foods are eggs, soy, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, fish and shellfish.
Advocates of all ages gather together at 26 walk locations stretching from California to Maryland to raise funds and awareness for the The Food Allergy amp; Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). The money raised from the walk as well as other FAAN events goes towards food allergy and anaphylaxis studies, research, education, public awareness, and possible treatments and vaccines. Additional FAAN events include a Teen Summit in Arlington, VA, and “Trick or Treat For Food Allergy,” where kids can carry a donation box and ask for donations rather than trick or treat for candy.
FAAN is a non-profit organization that was established in 1991. There are over 30,000 members that consist of, but not limited to, parents, grandparents, medical professionals, and schools. Their mission, which can be found on their web site at www.foodallergy.org/about.html, is to “raise public awareness, to provide advocacy and education, and to advance research on behalf of all those affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis.”
Country music star Trace Adkins is this year’s National Honorary Chair for FAAN’s Walk for Food Allergy: Moving Toward A Cure. Adkins and his wife became members of FAAN shortly after they discovered their daughter was allergic to peanuts. He was also a “The Celebrity Apprentice” finalist, and the charity of his choice for the show was The Food Allergy amp; Anaphylaxis Network.
If there is not a walk location for your area, you can register for an online walk in “Alexander’s Home Town, USA,” which is scheduled for December 6, 2008. Alexander is a peanut allergic elephant that is featured in several educational books and dvds for children. The online walk is scheduled for Saturday, December 6, 2008. Participant’s who register for Alexander’s Home Town can raise funds and walk at their leisure in any location in their area.