The Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Association of Minnesota is having a silent auction and concert to raise funds for their non-profit organization. The AFAA of Minnesota pioneered the universal availability for their state’s EMS, immediate access of epi-pens for food allergic students and many other educational programs.
The organization has asked Reed Tetzloff, an accomplished 17 year old pianist, to perform at the benefit. Reed has multiple life threatening food allergies.
As I read about the benefit I kept thinking to myself that Reed represents the future of food allergies. As the explosion of food allergies continues and our children forge out into the world, they are going to self advocate and make a difference. The old boys club of America will fade and the younger generation that has a food allergy or has a best friend/girlfriend/sister that has one, will be developing policy in private and public sectors.
The voice of food allergic moms has been refuted by doctors, such as Dr. Robinson during his radio show interview, as “Mama Bear” syndrome. We are seen as overprotecting shrews. But watch out, millions of our food allergic baby bears will be entering the adult world soon. Food allergies doubled beginning in 1996, these kids are 12. It is only a matter of time that people will have to provide food allergy precautions every where because our adult children will demand it.
Our food allergic children will one day be policy makers, researchers, teachers, lobbyist and the list can go on and on of the possibilities. I think this is when there will be a true understanding of how food allergies affect children. I think that our children will end the debate of eligibility for 504 plans, nut-bans and even FDA policy. We are raising a generation of food allergic and intellectual children who are interested in politics and have been forced to learn how to self advocate at a young age. You think you miss your nuts now? These kids see their parents wiping down seats, lobbying for fairness, staying up till the wee hours of night baking cupcakes and unfortunately crying when we feel helpless. Our children are processing how we manage their allergies. I really feel that children like Reed will bombard the world soon using their individual talents to make this world a better place for people with food allergies.