I live my moments with life-threatening food allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. I’m doing my best to raise awareness for people with food allergies. I developed food allergies as an adult 25 years ago.
I remind myself often that I can do more. I’ve nearly lost my life on multiple occasions from allergic reactions, but two reactions really stick out in my mind as the worst ones. One in after eating a bag of almonds (not knowing I had the allergy yet) and another after eating a cookie that contained walnuts, while 6 months pregnant with our son Cam. Both incidents always remind me of how lucky I am (we are) to be alive as extreme measures were taken to save our lives.
I am now 51 and I still feel very lucky to be here. My last allergic reaction was a few months ago after taking a bite of a bagel. It was a product I had always eaten and so I mistakenly didn’t read the label. I trusted the brand. After we knew I was going to be ok, we went back to read the label, which we discovered, is now is being made with walnuts. An error on my part, as I am a stickler for reading labels and should have followed my own advice and practice. It was a reminder in many ways. Not only a reminder to us all with food allergies to not let the guard down when it comes to eating, but also to find my voice again and do as much as I can do to help us stay alive and thrive with food allergies.
The incident has had me thinking, once again, about food allergy awareness, particularly with respect to children. We all need to do more.
Sally Huss and I wrote a best-selling, children’s book called A Lesson For Every Child: Learning About Food Allergies. One mission we have is for all Pre-K to 3rd grade classrooms to have a copy of our book. We’re hoping we reach as many people as we can with our book. We’re offering the book free in eBook version on Nov 11, 12, & 13 here: https://amzn.to/2W7KiHK
In addition to offering the book free, we’re asking anyone who can to please buy the paperback and donate it to a classroom, teacher, family, library, doctor’s office or anywhere you think the book might add value and save a life or educate someone about food allergies.
About Elizabeth, Sally and A Lesson for Every Child: Learning About Food Allergies
Sally Huss and Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino set out to create a book for children to help raise awareness about food allergies. Months later, their book, A Lesson for Every Child: Learning About Food Allergies, is still trending as a best-seller on Amazon in multiple categories and will soon be released in hardback.
As the book finds its way organically around the world, we are so incredible grateful for reviews like this.
“As a former educator I would encourage TEACHERS to get this book for their classroom! With the growing amount of KNOWN allergies now this is a MUST HAVE. My niece has a severe allergy to peanuts and I plan on purchasing this book for her to send along to her teacher. Of course the story addresses more than just a student sharing something “different” about themselves. It actually addresses the opportunity for peers to connect with one another on so many different levels. Something we need right NOW! I think most students would have a connection to this book. If they don’t have any allergies they sure know someone who does!”
Please help us continue to raise awareness to help all of us in the food allergy community stay alive and thrive with food allergies.
Sally Huss and Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino are the authors of two books together: A Lesson for Every Child: Learning About Food Allergies and Self-Confident Sandy. Sally Huss is an author & Illustrator with over 100 children’s books to her credit. Elizabeth is an author of 6 books and has had life-threatening food allergies for 25 years. Elizabeth is a spokesperson for FAACT.
Elizabeth is the Co-Founder of Food Allergy Zone, with Brian Hom. Brian Hom & his wife, lost their son BJ to an allergic reaction to peanuts while on a trip Los Cabos, Mexico, in 2008 to celebrate their son BJ’s 18th birthday and graduation from high school. BJ died that night from an anaphylactic reaction after accidental exposure to peanuts that were in a dessert at the resort.
Elizabeth is the author of the best-selling Hay House book PERCOLATE – Let Your Best Self Filter Through, which also details her life with food allergies and helps raise awareness.